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. Her return to the series was announced in a Director's Room Miiverse post on December 26th, 2013, which also commemorated The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds being released in Japan on the same day.[1] Jun Mizusawa reprises her role as Zelda's voice actor, albeit via recycled voice clips from Super Smash Bros. 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, and results in her being assessed as a low-tier character instead of a bottom-tier character. Zelda still boasts impressive power for a lightweight: her forward smash, up smash, up aerial, sweetspotted down aerial, and sweetspotted Lightning Kicks are each capable of scoring KOs fairly easily. By extension, Farore's Wind has been strengthened to the point that it can reliably KO any character below 100%, which makes it especially potent from out of shield. Zelda has also received a number of buffs to her damage racking game and defensive playstyle, largely thanks to faster frame data and altered knockback.

However, Zelda's weaknesses have largely been retained. Her slow mobility and situational projectiles result in both her neutral game and approach still being poor. Additionally, her endurance is still poor because of the problematic combination of her tall hurtbox, light weight, and floatiness. Lastly, Zelda's KO potential is still inconsistent: her strongest attacks have short durations, and are further burdened with either abysmally weak sourspots, punishable lag, or both.

As a result of Zelda's glaring flaws, she has garnered poor representation in competitive play. Although her playerbase is small and her results are extremely sparse, she has nevertheless found a few instances of success, thanks to the likes of ven, Fairess, Purple Guy, Onpu, and Zolda.

Attributes[edit]

As in previous installments, Zelda is a tall, floaty lightweight with relatively slow mobility: her walking speed, dashing speed, falling speed, and gravity are all below-average, while her traction is average, giving her low movement speed on the ground. However, her air speed is slightly above average, though this is somewhat toned down by her below-average air acceleration. As a result, her endurance and overall mobility are both sub-par.

Due to her stats granting her an ineffective neutral game and approach, Zelda's playstyle focuses on keeping on the defensive, courtesy of her strong out of shield and punishment games. By extension, her special moveset supplements her defensive potential, with Farore's Wind being her most effective special move. It is a long-ranged teleport that grants intangibility, giving her a very reliable and, if used wisely, virtually unpredictable recovery option. In addition, Farore's Wind has become one of Zelda's most viable KOing options, especially from out of shield: its disappearing hitbox now launches opponents directly upward, which allows it to combo into its now stronger reappearing hitbox that, when sweetspotted, will KO any character below 100% while near the upper blast line.

Due to losing Transform, Zelda has a received a new down special called Phantom Slash. Phantom Slash is a chargeable projectile that boasts both offensive and defensive capabilities: it possesses enough power to KO at reasonable percents when fully charged, especially when edge-guarding, while the Phantom itself can block Zelda from incoming attacks. While descending from the upper corners of a stage, Zelda can also use it as a fairly effective way to ward off edge-guard attempts from an opponent standing at the edge. Nayru's Love is a reflector that also has loop hitboxes, which grant it offensive and defensive potentials like Phantom Slash. Lastly, Din's Fire can be useful for long-ranged edge-guarding, which is further supplemented by its new sweetspot's high knockback growth.

The majority of Zelda's air game is a case of "high-risk, high-reward": her Lightning Kicks and down aerial require considerable precision in order to hit their sweetspots, but when sweetspotted, each of these attacks boast enough power to easily KO even super heavyweights. By extension, sweetspotted down aerial boasts decent combo potential on grounded opponents, thanks to it being a very powerful meteor smash. Zelda's up aerial is the most damaging up aerial in the game, and while it also requires precision because of its short duration and fairly minimal horizontal range, its lack of sweetspots and sourspots makes it much more consistent at KOing in comparison to her Lightning Kicks and down aerial. Unlike Zelda's aforementioned aerials, neutral aerial is not suited for KOing outright, but nevertheless has respectable utility: it has a decent damage output and looping hitboxes, it can function as a follow-up from down throw at low percents, it can start combos while Zelda is falling, and its last hit's very high knockback growth makes it useful for edge-guarding.

Zelda's ground game is very middling in comparison to her air game, but each of her grounded attacks have some degree of utility. Her grab game, in particular, is widely agreed as the best aspect of her ground game. Zelda's grabs have fairly long ranges despite not being tether grabs, and her pummel, while moderately slow, is among the most damaging in the game. Forward and back throws are useful for setting up edge-guards, yet each have a certain quirk: the former is among the damaging forward throws in the game, while the latter has decent KO potential while near the edge. In comparison, up and down throws are fairly decent combo starters, especially on heavyweights and fast-fallers. However, the latter functions best as a set-up into up aerial at high percents, as this combo is very reliable at KOing even heavyweights.

Neutral attack and especially up and down tilts are capable combo starters, thanks to their knockback values and low ending lag. Forward tilt and dash attack are strong enough for spacing and KOing thanks to their strong sweetspots, while the latter also has one of the lowest amounts of start-up lag of any dash attack in the game. Zelda's forward and up smashes have impressive power and respectable shield pressuring potential, while the latter has surprisingly low start-up lag for a smash attack. Down smash, like neutral aerial, is useful because of its utility more so than its KO potential. It comes out on frame 5, which gives it the distinction of being tied with Pit, Mario, Dr. Mario, and Ryu's down smashes as the second fastest smash attacks of any kind in the game. When coupled with its low ending lag and semi-spike angle, down smash can reliably punish rolls and set up edge-guards.

However, Zelda possesses a number of glaring weaknesses. Like in previous installments, she has the inconvenient combination of being tall, light and floaty, which make her susceptible to both combos and early KOs. Although Zelda's mobility has improved, it has only done so marginally at best, and thus remains overall sub-par. Despite her power, Zelda's KO potential is inconsistent: in addition to having very short durations, her strongest attacks are burdened with very weak sourspots (Lightning Kicks and down aerial), punishable amounts of lag (forward tilt, forward smash, up smash, and up aerial), or both (dash attack and Farore's Wind). To further compound this, only up aerial and Farore's Wind have set-ups that are largely consistent past medium percents: the former has up tilt, down tilt, and down throw, whereas the latter must combo into itself.

Although Zelda's special moves can help her defensive presence when used wisely, they are nevertheless lacking in regard to pressure. Short-ranged pressure can be problematic because Nayru's Love is rather laggy, while Phantom Slash is slightly situational because of its ending lag, limited durability, poor range at low charges, and its susceptibility to reflection-based attacks. As a result, Zelda is forced to rely on her down smash instead of either of these options much more often than not. Conversely, Din's Fire is very unsuitable for long-ranged pressure because it is still very easy to evade, and is now burdened with a very weak sourspot. Lastly, Farore's Wind can cause Zelda to recover or evade pressure in the wrong direction if she recovers from a stage's slopes. Its high ending lag also makes her unable to move during her free fall animation until more than a second has passed.

Zelda's custom moves are also among worst in the game. The overwhelming majority of them fail to alleviate her weaknesses, while only a handful of them are slightly better at best, or situational at worst in comparison to the default versions. Nayru's Rejection reverses opponents and grants more intangibility, but has slightly increased starting lag, is overall weaker, and does not render the opponent helpless. Farore's Windfall meteor smashes opponents, but only travels directly upward while still halting her momentum, gains no benefit from a jump, and has virtually no KO potential unless used near an edge or in the air. However, Zelda does have two custom moves that can offer slight benefits over their default versions. Din's Blaze travels slower, but has much stronger knockback and, if used wisely, can function as a deadly edge-guarding option. Phantom Breaker can break shields very easily, although it deals less damage and travels a set distance. Aside from these, Zelda's remaining custom moves are only situational at best.

Overall, Zelda relies on a very defensive playstyle in order to punish opponents with her effective out of shield game, while using tools such as her above-average grab and throws to start combos or set up an edge-guard, and precision with her powerful smash attacks and sweetspots to KO early. However, her poor approach, mobility, and neutral game hampers her ability to escape rushdowns and pressure, while her heavy reliance on sweetspots and a lack of utility on her sourspots make her essentially a glass cannon. Due to the precision and patience needed to use her effectively, Zelda has historically been poorly represented in tournaments, although some of her dedicated players have brought her a handful of results, especially after the multitude of buffs updates have brought her.

Changes from Brawl[edit]

Despite her status as the second worst character in Brawl, Zelda received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to SSB4. Due to her major flaws not being properly addressed, however, she is considered to be nerfed. The most notable nerf was the removal of her ability to Transform into Sheik, which is further compounded by the latter having been significantly buffed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. Outside of this, most of Zelda's direct nerfs were applied to her power, with her up tilt having its knockback significantly reduced, her up and down smashes having shortened ranges, and Din's Fire being less maneuverable and harder to hit with. Her Lightning Kicks also gained higher ending and landing lag, which worsened her already poor approach.

Nevertheless, Zelda did received some noticeable buffs. Farore's Wind is now a risky, but very viable KOing option, especially from out of shield, thanks to the significant increases to its damage output and base knockback. Her Lightning Kicks are much easier to land thanks to altered hitbox placements, which improved their accuracy. 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 helps her cover almost all edge get-up options. Lastly, Zelda's damage racking game has noticeably improved: neutral attack's various mechanical adjustments make it a better combo starter, up tilt's increased speed and lowered knockback enables it to combo into itself much like her down tilt, neutral aerial's hitbox adjustments make it better at damage racking, and down throw's altered knockback and angle make it a useful KO set-up into up aerial at high percents.

Overall, Zelda is still burdened with a poor approach and neutral game, while the buffs to her mobility are very marginal at best. However, the buffs she has has received make her capable at damage racking, which in turn further supplements her already outstanding out of shield game.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Zelda once again appears as her The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess incarnation. Due to the aesthetic used in SSB4, however, her overall color scheme is now significantly more vibrant. Zelda's ornaments also now have a polished finish.
  • Change The grieves on Zelda's boots are more pronounced, with the buckles no longer merging with her soles. The Triforce studs on said buckles have also been removed. These changes are original to SSB4.
  • Change Zelda is significantly more expressive. She now scowls while using most attacks, smirks during one of her victory poses, winces in pain after tripping, appears alarmed while teetering, winces depressingly while laying prone.
  • Change Most attacks have updated visual and sound effects. All magical attacks also now have a magic effect, instead of an electric effect.
  • Change Sidestep, air dodge, and up taunt's animations have changed.
  • Change Zelda vocalizes much less frequently while jumping.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Zelda walks faster (0.8 → 0.87). She also walks much faster when carrying heavy items.
  • Buff Zelda dashes faster (1.224 → 1.3).
  • Buff Zelda's air speed is faster (0.987 → 1.04).
  • Change Zelda falls faster (1.13 → 1.35). This improves her vertical endurance, but makes her more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Zelda's gravity is higher (0.067 → 0.071). This slightly improves her aerial mobility and somewhat alleviates the drawbacks of her floatiness.
  • Buff Rolls have decreased ending lag (frame 32 → 31).
  • Nerf Sidestep has increased ending lag (frame 26 → 28).
  • Buff Air dodge has decreased ending lag (frame 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)).
  • Nerf Zelda is no longer connected to Sheik via Transform or character selection screen input.[2] As a result, she can no longer access Sheik's significantly better mobility and combo potential to alleviate her own.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral attack deals more damage (2% (all) → 3% (hits 1-2)/5% (hit 3)) and its heavy position, bone, angles, hitbox sizes, and weight-based knockback have also been adjusted on all of its hits. Altogether, these changes improve its combo potential, and make 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.
  • Nerf Dash attack's duration is shorter (frames 6-13 → 6-10). It also now consists of one hit instead of two when using a battering item.
  • Nerf Forward tilt deals less damage (13% (hand)/12% (arm) → 12%/10%), hindering its KO potential. Its duration is also shorter (frames 12-14 → 10) and its body hitbox has been removed.
  • Buff Forward tilt has decreased start-up (frame 12 → 10) and ending lag (frame 40 → 38). It also has a larger z-position (3u → 3.5u), improving its range.
  • Change Forward tilt's hand hitbox's angle has been altered (110° → 361°). This improves its spacing potential, but removes its combo 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 (frame 48 → 30), granting it combo potential.
  • Nerf Down tilt deals less damage (8% (leg)/7% (foot) → 5.5% (both)), although its knockback growth has been compensated (80 → 120). Due to losing its meteor smash hitboxes, it no longer traps opponents.
  • 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.
  • Nerf Forward and up smashes have increased ending lag (frame 40 → 50 (forward), frame 57 → 64 (up)).
  • Buff The weakening of SDI makes forward and up smashes significantly more difficult to escape from.
  • Nerf Up and down smashes have slightly decreased ranges.
  • Change Down smash has altered knockback growth (95 → 86 (front), 85 → 96 (back)).
  • Nerf Down smash has increased start-up lag (frame 4 → 5 (front), frame 12 → 13 (back)), its duration is shorter (frames 4-6 (front) → 5-6, frames 12-14 → 13-14 (back)), and it no longer grants intangibility around Zelda's leg.
  • Buff Down smash has decreased ending lag (frame 40 → 38).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral aerial's loop hits no longer deal consistent damage (2% → 2.5% (front)/1.5% (back).
  • Buff Neutral aerial's loop hits' hitbox sizes increased (3u → 4.7u). Its loop hits also have altered angles (150° (hands)/270° (upper body)/90° (lower body) → 366°), which makes the back portion of its loop hits launch the opponent toward the front portion.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's last hit has decreased knockback growth (120 → 110).
  • Buff The weakening of SDI makes neutral aerial significantly more difficult to escape from.
  • Nerf Lightning Kicks have decreased base knockback (35 (forward)/40 (back) → 20/28), hindering their KO potentials. They also have increased start-up (frame 8 → 9 (forward), frame 5 → 6 (back)), ending (frame 40 (front)/frame 36 (back) → 53 (both)), and landing lag (22 frames (both) → 23 (forward)/25 (back)).
  • Nerf Lightning Kicks auto-cancel later (25> (forward)/26> (back) → 50>/52>) and they can no longer auto-cancel with a short hop.
  • Buff Due to altered hitbox placements and having decreased freeze frames when sweetspotted (5 frames → 2), Lightning Kicks are easier to land and now behave similarly to down aerial.
  • Buff Lightning Kicks' animations have slightly changed. Zelda now leans and faces away from the direction where she kicks, and has her arms positioned differently, which make her hurtbox narrower.
  • Buff Up aerial deals 2% more damage (15% → 17%), although its knockback growth has been compensated (110 → 84). It also has a larger hitbox (7u → 8u) and has decreased landing lag (22 frames → 19).
  • Buff Sweetspotted down aerial 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. Due to the removal of meteor canceling, however, it is still one of the strongest meteor smashes in the game.

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) and its angle has been altered (90° → 88°), slightly improving its combo potential at low to medium percents.
  • Nerf Down throw deals 4% less damage (10% → 6%).
  • Buff Down throw has increased knockback (80 (base)/42 (growth) → 85/55) and its angle has been altered (120° → 100°), improving its combo potential at low to medium percents.
  • Change Down throw's visual effects have changed. Zelda now casts fiery magic at the opponent, instead of electrical magic.

Special moves[edit]

  • Nerf Due to consisting of four hits instead of six, Nayru's Love deals 4% less damage (15% → 11%).
  • Nerf The removal of momentum canceling makes Nayru's Love Jump cover significantly less vertical distance, hindering its recovery potential.
  • Buff Nayru's Love's loop hits' angles have been altered (10° → 160°). This makes its hits connect together better. It also has increased intangibility frames (frames 5-11 → 5-15).
  • Buff The weakening of SDI makes Nayru's Love significantly more difficult to escape from.
  • Nerf Din's Fire deals less damage (8%-16% → 7%-14% (sweetspot)/3.5%-7% (sourspot)). Additionally, its travel distance, maneuverability, and explosion's range have decreased to the point that it must travel a set distance away from Zelda before it can be detonated. Lastly, maneuvering it into the stage will no longer make it explode faster, but instead make it 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 Due to consisting of a sweetspot and a sourspot instead of a consistent hitbox,[3] Din's Fire has altered knockback (50 (base)/60 (growth) → 50/97 (sweetspot), 55/40 (sourspot)). This improves its KO potential when fully charged and sweetspotted, but significantly hinders its safety when sourspotted.
  • Buff Farore's Wind's second hit deals more damage (6% → 10% (grounded sweetspot)/7% (grounded sourspot)/12% (aerial sweetspot)/8% (aerial sourspot)). Additionally, due to consisting of a sweetspot and a sourspot instead of a consistent hitbox, its second hit has altered knockback (40 (base)/100 (growth) → 90/90 (grounded/aerial sweetspot), 70/90 (grounded/aerial sourspot)). Lastly, its aerial second hit's angle has been altered (361° → 55°). Altogether, these changes grant it KO potential when sweetspotted, especially near the upper blast line, and improve its safety even when sourspotted.
  • Buff Farore's Wind's grounded first hit's knockback (40 (base)/100 (growth) → 118/30) and angle have been altered (80° → 91°), granting it combo potential into its second hit. Its aerial first hit also has increased base knockback (40 → 60).
  • Buff Farore's Wind has decreased start-up lag (frame 11 → 8). Additionally, it travels farther and covers significantly more vertical distance when used with a jump. Lastly, it now snaps the edge when first used, instead of requiring Zelda to reappear first. Altogether, these changes significantly improve its recovery potential.
  • Change Farore Wind's second hit now has a slash effect, instead of a flame effect.
  • Buff Zelda has a new down special, Phantom Slash. Phantom Slash is a chargeable attack that summons a Phantom and propels it forward in order to attack with its sword and/or block incoming attacks.[2] Unlike Transform, it deals damage at any level of charge and has very high knockback when fully charged, making it capable of zoning and KOing.
  • Nerf Phantom Slash cannot be charge-canceled or held indefinitely. Additionally, the Phantom functions as a projectile, and is thus susceptible to reflection-based moves, Pocket, and Gravitational Pull.[2] Lastly, the Phantom can be destroyed, which temporarily prevents Zelda from reusing it.[2]
  • Nerf Light Arrow deals 2% less damage (42%/32%/24% → 40%/30%/22%) and has decreased knockback, removing its one-hit KO potential.

Update history[edit]

Zelda has been 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 benefits from the changes to the shield mechanics brought about in updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, as her multiple hit attacks and Lightning Kicks have become safer on shield.

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. In addition, Zelda's grabs had their ranges improved, while her forward tilt and down smash became less laggy. Although neutral attack and neutral aerial 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, updates have failed to majorly address her mobility, neutral game and endurance, and thus 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 Some attacks have improved visual effects.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where an opponent might very briefly appear behind Zelda after being pivot grabbed.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Nerf Forward smash's loop hits' hitbox sizes decreased: 4.3u/5u → 4.2u/4.5u.
  • Change Forward smash's last hit's hitbox size altered: 6.7u/5.7u → 5.5u/6u.
  • Buff Forward smash's loop hits' angles altered: 60°/160° → 25°/165°. This makes its hits connect together better.
  • Change Back Lightning Kick has improved visual effects.
  • Nerf All variations of Din's Fire have had their sweetspot's size decreased: 2.7u → 2.1u.
  • Buff Phantom Slash's ending lag decreased: frame 54 → 51.
  • Buff The Phantom's on-stage duration increased by approximately 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 last hit's knockback growth increased: 190 → 214, its multiple hits' hitbox sizes increased: 3u/3.8u/3u/3u → 3.5u/4.2u/3.5u/3.5u, and its SDI multipliers decreased: 1x → 0.5x. Altogether, these changes improve its KO potential, and make its hits connect together better.
  • Change Neutral aerial's loop hits' damage outputs reversed: 1% (front)/2% (back) → 2%/1%.
  • Buff Neutral aerial's loop hits' hitbox sizes increased: 3u → 4.7u.
  • 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 improved. It deals more damage: 2% (all hits) → 2.5% (hits 1-2)/3% (hit 3), its last hit's knockback altered: 24 (base)/150 (growth) → 35/130, and its heavy position, bone, angles, hitbox sizes, and weight-based knockback have been adjusted on all of its hits. Altogether, these changes improve its combo potential, and make its hits connect together better.
  • Buff Up tilt's ending lag decreased: frame 33 → 30, 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 loop hits' angles altered: 150° (hands)/270° (upper body)/90° (lower body) → 366°. This makes the back portion of its loop hits launch the opponent toward the front portion.
  • Buff Nayru's Passion start-up: frame 13 (windbox)/frame 27 (hitbox) → 11/22 and ending lag: frame 60 → 55 decreased.
  • Change Nayru's Passion's windbox's position altered.
  • Buff Farore's Squall's hitbox duration increased: 1 frame → 2.
  • Buff Farore's Squall's disappearing and traveling windboxes' ending lag decreased: frame 35 (disappearing)/frame 34 (traveling) → 34/29.

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. Its respectable damage output, minimal ending lag, and launching angle make it a decent combo starter into dash attack and dash grab at low percents. However, due to it coming out frame 11, it is the slowest neutral attack in the game. In addition, its hitbox follows Zelda's palm, which can result in it can missing small and/or crouching opponents.
Forward tilt   12% (hand), 10% (arm) A magically-infused, outward fanning knifehand strike.[4] It can be angled and is powerful for a tilt attack, as its hand hitbox is strong enough to KO middleweights at 131% while near the edge. However, it has noticeable ending lag, and its arm hitbox is noticeably weaker, to the point that it KOs middleweights at 152% while near the edge. Due to its body hitbox being removed since Brawl, it also has a very small blind spot near Zelda's torso.
Up tilt   7.2% Waves her arm in an overhead arcing motion while her hand is infused with magical energy. Due to it coming out on frame 7 and having minimal ending lag, it is a reliable combo starter. It can combo into itself at low percents, and into an aerial at medium percents. However, it no longer functions as a viable KOing option like in Brawl because of its noticeably lower damage output, and its altered knockback values.
Down tilt   5.5% A kneeling shin kick. Due to it coming out on frame 5, it is Zelda's fastest tilt attack. When coupled with its minimal ending lag, launching angle, and deceptively long-lasting hitbox, it is her most reliable combo starter. It can combo into itself, up tilt, and forward smash at low percents, into forward tilt at low to medium percents, and into neutral aerial and up aerial at medium percents.
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. Due to it coming out on frame 6, it is one of the fastest dash attacks in the game. To compliment this, its base sweetspot is strong enough to KO middleweights at 142% while near the edge. However, it has noticeable ending lag, while both its tip sweetspot and sourspot lack KO potential.
Forward smash   1% (hits 1-4), 13% (hit 5) A palm thrust that emits a blast of magical energy. Its respectable overall damage output and very high knockback growth make it strong enough to KO middleweights at 113% while near the edge. In addition, its multiple hits make it useful for pressuring shields, especially when it is charged. However, due to it coming out on frame 16, it has the highest start-up lag out Zelda's smash attacks. It also has punishable ending lag.
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. It comes out on frame 9, which is respectable start-up lag for a smash attack. When coupled with its extremely high knockback growth and multiple hits, it is useful for both KOing and pressuring shields. It KOs middleweights at 118%, but has short range and punishable ending lag.
Down smash   12% (front), 10% (back) A spinning shin kick. Due to it coming out on frame 5, it is tied with Pit, Mario, Dr. Mario, and Ryu's down smashes for the second fastest smash attack of any kind in the game, being surpassed only by Meta Knight's buffered down smash. It is also a semi-spike that hits on both sides, which make it very useful for punishing rolls or setting up an edge-guard. However, it is Zelda's weakest smash attack, as its front hit KOs middleweights at 147% while near the edge, whereas its back hit KOs them at 151% while near the edge.
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. Due to it coming out on frame 6, it is tied with back aerial for the lowest amount of start-up lag out of Zelda's aerials. It 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. Thanks to its very high knockback growth, it KOs middleweights at 132% while near the left/right blast lines.
Forward aerial Lightning Kick 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late) A magically-infused flying kick. Its sweetspot is at the tip of her foot, and has both an outstanding damage output and high knockback growth, which enable it to KO middleweights at 94% while near the edge. Its sweetspot is easier to connect if it hits the opponent at the beginning of the move. However, its sourspots lack KO potential and are very unsafe because of their extremely low damage outputs and average knockback growth. In addition, its considerable ending lag makes it punishable at low percents, even if it is sweetspotted.
Back aerial Lightning Kick 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late) A magically-infused flying kick. It functions almost identically to forward aerial, with the only differences being that it comes out on frame 6 (which ties it with neutral aerial for the lowest amount of start-up lag out of Zelda's aerials) and its sweetspot has slightly more base knockback and knockback growth. Its sweetspot KOs middleweights at 90% while near the edge. However, it has the highest amount of landing lag out of Zelda's aerials.
Up aerial   17% Leans back and turns slightly before extending her arm above her head to emit a magical explosion from her index and middle fingers. It is the most damaging up aerial in the game, which makes it strong enough to KO middleweights at 108% while near the upper blast line, even in spite of its average knockback growth. It can also clip through the bottom of a stage's edge. However, it comes out on frame 14, which makes it tied with down aerial for the highest amount of start-up lag out of Zelda's aerials. It also has punishable ending lag, a short duration, and fairly minimal horizontal range.
Down aerial   16% (clean), 5% (late leg), 4% (late foot) A magically-infused stomp. Its sweetspot is a very strong meteor smash, whereas its sourspots are weak meteor smashes. It also has the lowest landing lag out of Zelda's aerials, which enables its sweetspot to start combos on grounded opponents quite reliably. However, it comes out on frame 14, which ties it with up aerial for the highest amount of start-up lag out of Zelda's aerials.
Grab   Restrains the opponent with magic. Zelda's grabs have long ranges, but noticeable start-up lag.
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. It is Zelda's most damaging throw, and one of the most damaging forward throws in the game. It is also useful for setting up edge-guards, but lacks KO potential because of its low knockback growth.
Back throw   11% Magically spins the opponent and turns around with them in tow before throwing them away. It is Zelda's only throw with KO potential, although its low knockback growth somewhat offsets its respectable damage output. It KOs middleweights at 161% while near the edge, but is also useful for setting up an edge-guard.
Up throw   11% Magically spins the opponent overhead and then throws them upward. It is one of the most damaging up throws in the game, and has decent combo potential, especially against heavyweights and fast-fallers. It can combo into neutral aerial at low percents, and up aerial at medium percents, although the latter requires can be avoided with DI.
Down throw   1% (hits 1-4), 2% (throw) 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 combo into neutral aerial, up aerial and, if timed precisely, back aerial. Although its combos into neutral and back aerials are easily avoidable with DI, its combo into up aerial is consistently effective and even viable for KOing at high percents.
Floor attack (front)   7% Kicks in front of herself and then behind herself.
Floor attack (back)   7% Kicks in front of herself and then behind herself.
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 crystalline barrier around herself. The barrier deals damage and reflects projectiles with 25% more power and speed than they originally had. It also grants intangibility on frames 5-15. However, it has noticeable start-up lag.
Custom 1 Nayru's Rejection 1% (loop), 5% (last), 1.2x (reflected projectiles) Reverses opponents and pushes them away, in addition to having more intangibility. However, it deals less damage, and has both a lower reflection multiplier and more start-up lag.
Custom 2 Nayru's Passion 15% Vacuums in opponents before exploding, which deals more damage and high knockback. However, it cannot reflect.
Side special Default Din's Fire 7%-14% (sweetspot), 3.5%-7% (sourspot) Launches a magical fireball. 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 fireball will travel, and it will automatically detonating when it reaches its maximum distance. Its sweetspot is quite powerful, to the point that a fully charged sweetspotted Din's Fire will KO middleweights at 121% while near the edge. However, it is very predictable, its sourspot is very weak regardless of its charge, and using it in midair will render Zelda helpless upon concluding.
Custom 1 Din's Flare 14% (sweetspot), 7% (sourspot) The sweetspot and sourspot's damage outputs are consistent, regardless of its how long the special button is held. The fireball also travels faster, and has increased range. However, its travel path can barely be adjusted vertically.
Custom 2 Din's Blaze 7.6%-18% (sweetspot), 3.8%-9% (sourspot) The fireball has a larger explosion and significantly better vertical maneuverability. However, it is slower to detonate, and travels much slower.
Up special Default Farore's Wind 6% (hit 1), 10% (grounded hit 2 near), 7% (grounded hit 2 far), 12% (aerial hit 2 near), 8% (aerial hit 2 far) Warps to a given direction. It deals damage upon contact while disappearing and while reappearing, and grants intangibility on frames 21-39. When combined with a jump, its travel distance is greatly increased. Its first hit launches opponents directly overhead, which enables it to combo its second hit if it is aimed upward. Its second hit deals respectable damage, and has high base knockback and high knockback growth, which make it capable of KOing middleweights at 90% while near the upper blast line, and at 96% while near the edge. However, it has high ending lag upon concluding in the air, to the point that Zelda cannot move around for more than a second. In addition, its second hit has a sourspot that lacks KO potential because of its lower damage output and average base knockback.
Custom 1 Farore's Squall Comes out much faster and has a large windbox with set knockback at its beginning that pushes opponents away, which make it useful for escaping pressure from an opponent. It also travels slightly farther, even more so with a jump, and its slower speed allowing for better maneuverability. However, it deals no damage, takes much longer to start up, and telegraphs where Zelda is going because of it emitting magical particles.
Custom 2 Farore's Windfall 4% (hit 1), 7% (hit 2) The teleport can only travel directly upward, but its second hit meteor smashes opponents. It also has slightly better horizontal control over Zelda's descent. However, it gains no benefits when combined with a jump, and lacks KO potential.
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. It is a chargeable projectile, as holding the special button longer increases the distance it covers and alters its attack. When fully charged, it becomes a two-hit attack that is strong enough to KO middleweights at 120% while near the edge. In addition to functioning as a projectile, the Phantom is also considered a physical entity, and is thus able to either slow down opponents that try to move through it (except for the Zelda that conjured it), or block some non-penetrating hits because of its set amount of health on all charges (which also applies to its custom variations). However, the Phantom is also susceptible to reflection, Pocket, and Gravitational Pull. Due to the Phantom's set amount of health, Phantom Slash will be rendered unusable for 10 seconds once the Phantom is destroyed. During the Phantom's inactivity, Zelda's hand will be surrounded by a purple wisp that will disappear as soon as the Phantom becomes reusable.
Custom 1 Phantom Breaker 5% (uncharged), 12% (charged), 9% (fully charged hit 1), 11% (fully charged hit 2) Propels a Phantom at a set distance, which is approximately the distance of Phantom Slash at its second charge. It deals more shield damage, but less damage to opponents themselves.
Custom 2 Phantom Strike 8% (uncharged), 20% (charged), 14% (fully charged hit 1), 14%-16% (fully charged hit 2) Deals noticeably more damage and reaches its full charge twice as fast as Phantom Slash. However, it has significantly shorter range because the Phantom is conjured directly in front of Zelda, instead of being propelled forward.
Final Smash Light Arrow 1% (hit 1), 39% (first opponent), 29% (second opponent), 21% (third opponent) Wields her bow and fires a Light Arrow forward. Although it no longer has one-hit KO potential like in Brawl, it is still one of the strongest Final Smashes in the game, as it KOs middleweights at 42% while near the edge.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Teleports onto the stage with magic glowing between her hands and emanating 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 then 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 upward and looks 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 smirk while either Super Smash Bros. for Wii Ulooking at the camera, or Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSlooking into the distance.
  • Puts her hands together in front of her torso, conjures Din's Fire between them, and stares at it. 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 in Melee and Brawl, Zelda was immediately viewed as a non-viable character upon SSB4's release. This perception was due to the combination of her key flaws not being properly addressed, and Sheik becoming a standalone character who was buffed significantly in her own transition from Brawl. When coupled by her extremely minimal representation and results in competitive play, as well as the fact that players had not yet acknowledged Jigglypuff's status in competitive play, Zelda was ranked 56th on the first tier list, placing her at the bottom of the entire tier list in spite of the buffs she received from game updates.

Despite her almost non-existent representation and results, Zelda nevertheless received more buffs from game updates, which contributed to her results slowly improving as time has passed. To reflect this, Zelda was ranked 55th on the second tier list, a ranking she has retained on the third and current tier list. Overall, Zelda's inherent and subsequent buffs are generally considered to be outweighed by the prominence of her inherent flaws, which has resulted in her having very minimal representation. Although Zelda has only won a few local tournament wins thanks to the likes of ven, Fairess, Purple Guy, and Zolda, both Onpu and ven have each achieved a few decent results at regional and even national tournaments.

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.
  • Zelda's alt. trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS appears very similar to her ancestor's All-Star Mode trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, one of the tips about Phantom Slash refers to the Phantom using masculine pronouns: "If the Phantom takes 13% damage or more, he'll be destroyed. After that, you'll have to wait six seconds before summoning him again."[5]
  1. Pic of the Day: December 26, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Super Smash Bros. Direct 4.8.2014
  3. Pic of the Day: March 12, 2014
  4. Pic of the Day: January 7, 2014
  5. Pic of the Day: October 16, 2014
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