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Overpowered characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate boasts the largest roster the Nintendo franchise has ever seen, with a total of 74 (76 if you count Pokemon Trainer's entire team) fighters to choose from. The depth of the roster is complemented by the dizzying variety in attacks, recovery, and special movesets that each character possesses. There is a fighter for everyone lurking somewhere on the roster, provided players have the time and inclination to search for their perfect match.

Not all fighters are created equally, however, and balancing a roster of that many characters will inevitably create some gaps in quality. When player skill is relatively even and there aren't any environmental factors influencing the outcome, there are some characters who simply stand above the rest in terms of strength. If you haven't chosen a main yet and want to style on your friends, we've got your back: here's our list of the most overpowered characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Pichu is a joke no longer

Pichu was intentionally made a joke character when it debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Its trophy in that game mentions that it is "top of the class in weakness," and the character never made an impact on the competitive scene. After 17 years away from the series, Pichu was announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and everyone braced themselves for another throwaway character.

That's why Pichu being a beast in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was such a surprise. No one could have expected the walking punchline to turn into a miniature punching machine, but that's exactly what happened. To understand why Pichu is overpowered, just take a look at some of the changes that were made to the character before adding it to Ultimate: it received buffs to its speed across the board, including air acceleration, and it can crawl, meaning that Pichu can approach enemies more easily. It also received buffs to its weight and its multi-hit attacks indirectly.

Pichu is also relatively easy to pick up, making it a menace in online play at lower competitive levels in early Ultimate. Pichu is by no means unbeatable, because it still has the worst survivability in the game. What was once a total joke, though, is now an overpowered glass cannon that possesses some of the most oppressive offense in all of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Peach breaks all the rules

Peach was never an inherently bad character in previous Super Smash Bros. entries. She'd typically hover in the mid-tier ranges, occasionally flirting with a top-tier ranking before the meta adjusted to her and moved her down again. The changes made to her in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, however, coupled with the changes made to the game's engine itself, have transformed the princess of Mushroom Kingdom into a monster far more powerful than Bowser could dream of being.

Peach is overpowered in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because she breaks a lot of the rules of the game. Ultimate has made it easier for characters to land on the ground after being in-air, which makes it difficult to punish Peach's incredibly strong aerial attacks. Peach can also float just above the ground for prolonged periods of time, so she can use her aerial attacks close to the stage. While other fighters' aerial attacks receive small nerfs when they're executed near the ground, Peach's do not.

Peach's ability to float and manage off-stage battling also makes her an incredible edgeguard character. Her turnip-pulling attacks can mess with character placement and recovery, and she has more than five attacks that are all KO-level. Peach's range, versatility, and rule-breaking make her one of the strongest characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in any context.

Inkling is rolling the meta

Inkling was a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is always scary for players. While most characters have a history in the game to contextualize how they'll perform, a brand new character can shake up the meta drastically. While Inkling might not have invalidated anyone's favorites in Ultimate, there's no arguing the character's strength. Inkling was an incredible character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the early stages, and many pros have suggested the character still has room to grow and improve as players begin to understand it better.

Part of Inkling's strength comes in how the character passively increases its damage. Most of Inkling's moves spread ink on their opponent, which then buffs the amount of knockback Inkling does to that character. While using Ink Roller, Inkling can also manipulate the environment so that opponents receive a slowdown effect when they step in it. Essentially, playing against Inkling requires a ton of awareness.

Inkling's new mechanics help strengthen a character that already has excellent recovery and solid all-around speed and damage. The caveat is that Inkling is not overpowered the first time players use her. Inkling is a character with a high skill-ceiling; spending the time to learn her will have your friends complaining about how strong the character is within a few weeks, and they definitely have a point. At top levels, Inkling is extremely dangerous.

Marth keeps on getting better

Marth has pretty much always been a solid fighter, something that is consistent with his origin. Fire Emblem fighters typically end up being pretty powerful in Super Smash Bros. titles because they usually wield swords or other weapons with good range. As a result, Marth has enjoyed a long spell of playability, arguably ever since he was first introduced to the franchise.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, however, Marth ascends the ranks even further and teeters on the edge of being a little too powerful. Marth is another fighter who benefited greatly from the changes to the game engine, as they emphasize speed and long range as must-have qualities. Those are some of Marth's greatest strengths, and it has shown in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Marth's ability to dash cancel and create space with his tilts makes him a very effective control character.

The changes to air dodging have also enhanced Marth's ability to juggle and edgeguard, since his opponents will have a harder time recovering against Marth's impressive aerials. Marth's Dancing Blade, already one of the strongest abilities in the character's arsenal, was also sped up in Ultimate, which makes guarding it even more difficult.

Marth has always been good in Super Smash Bros., but in Ultimate, he's frankly overpowered. The Fire Emblem franchise just keeps getting better with every Super Smash Bros. iteration.

Meta Knight will pounce on an opening

Meta Knight was one of the best characters in any Super Smash Bros. game when he enacted his reign of terror over Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The character was so strong that the nerfs he received in the next game, Super Smash Bros. 4, rendered him nearly unplayable. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate managed to get him closer to a balanced role, Meta Knight has once again found himself on the right side of the tier list.

Meta Knight in Ultimate is all about patience. He has incredible mobility and recovery thanks to his multiple jumps. Meta Knight also has fast dashing, walking, and falling speeds, which combine to make a character whose mobility is strong on all parts of the stage. As such, picking an opening while playing defense is relatively easy as long as the Meta Knight player is familiar with their opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

Where Meta Knight truly shines is once an opening is found. Meta Knight is extremely good at stacking damage once he begins his attack, and he is an excellent juggler and edgeguarder. While he suffers from a relative lack of KO moves, he more than makes up for it in versatility and defensive play. This makes him frustrating to play against, as his attacks often feel overpowered once they begin landing and he's hard to get a hold of in the interim, making him a great level-control character.

Pokemon Trainer is versatile with three different characters

Pokemon Trainer is a weird character because playing them means competently navigating between three sub-characters, each with varying movesets and strengths and weaknesses. The prior iteration of Pokemon Trainer was viewed as something of a novelty by the Super Smash Bros. community. While some top level players experimented with the fighter, they never really broke out.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokemon Trainer has reached new heights. The character has been slow to gain popularity thanks to their steep learning curve, but Smash pros like Leffen were dominant with Pokemon Trainer in Ultimate's early days. The appeal is pretty easy to understand: for the best players in the game, access to such a wide range of movesets gives them a better chance to outplay their opponents.

Pokemon Trainer, when played well, is a nightmare for other fighters. Squirtle's movement and level control, Ivysaur's powerful KO moves and aerial dominance, and Charizard's extremely wide range of KO potential abilities make Pokemon Trainer versatile. Little things, like fast-switching to dodge grabs or other abilities, have also slowly been developed into viable tournament strategies.

Pokemon Trainer doesn't look outwardly powerful. In fact, the character looks so gimmicky it is easy to dismiss them altogether. Doing so would be a mistake, and Pokemon Trainer mains are happy to continue playing one of the strongest characters on the roster while opponents underestimate them.

Yoshi rules the air

It's always the innocent-looking characters that will get you. Cuteness doesn't go hand-in-hand with weakness in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Yoshi is proof of that. The long-time Super Mario mascot came out of nowhere to quickly assert himself as one of the top-tier fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Yoshi's success can be largely attributed to just how important aerials are in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Yoshi is royalty in the air, with powerful moves at seemingly every juncture. Yoshi's aerials are also powerhouses, doing serious damage and setting up opponents to take even more damage when they're executed.

Yoshi's forward tilt is also impressive, allowing the character to set up most of his combos coming out of it. Yoshi's forward air, though, is what makes him so dangerous. It's probably the best edgeguarding tool in the entire game, allowing Yoshi to spike opponents off stage with ease. Even when it doesn't work as intended, it can still send opponents spiraling out of control and set Yoshi up to edgeguard more until he claims his stock.

Yoshi still has impressive recovery, which makes him pretty well-rounded. His egg moves are genuine threats in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, too, which marks something of a first for the character in the franchise. Yoshi doesn't really have any flaws, the hallmark of an overpowered Smash juggernaut.

Cloud is just plain good

Cloud terrorized Super Smash Bros. 4 with his Limit Break potential and a generally strong all-around game. It remained obvious throughout Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's development that he and Bayonetta would both need some drastic redesigns, and in the case of the latter, the witch was appropriately nerfed. As for Cloud? He's still a force to be reckoned with.

Cloud's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate iteration is certainly much weaker than his prior version, but he has actually remained fundamentally solid. He still has few exploitable flaws in his game, and he has maintained his role as a character with the tools to effectively deal with whatever is thrown at him. Cloud also benefits from having a relatively low learning curve, meaning that many players looking to get into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competitively will pick him up early, resulting in more good-to-great Cloud mains on the scene.

Limit remains an incredible Smash mechanic as well; popping Limit Break and receiving a speed increase is effective in virtually any scenario. While Cloud is limited in terms of his KO moves, heavily relying on his back air to close out edgeguard scenarios, it doesn't necessarily matter. His moveset covers everything, and even if it requires more chip damage for him to knock someone out, Cloud is one of the best-equipped characters at playing a long game.

Palutena is versatile enough to take on anyone

Series creator Masahiro Sakurai will make sure some of his original characters are overpowered in every Super Smash Bros. game. It is a law the community has become intimately familiar with over the history of the franchise. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, that character may well be Palutena, a fighter that has been impactful in previous games but never at the very height of top-tier.

Palutena is one of the best parriers in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Early in the game, it appeared that parrying would be more important than usual for the franchise, and Palutena was the primary benefactor. She also possesses a great neutral aerial that is easily spammable, and it is one of the better low-percent combo starters in the game.

Palutena is exceptionally well-rounded, possessing very few exploitable flaws while also having a solid game plan against big and small characters. Being versatile is perhaps the best asset a character can possess in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and as a result, Palutena is overpowered thanks to her game against everyone.

And did we mention her neutral air? It's just so good. Even when the game engine is designed to punish players who frequently use the same move in a fight, Palutena's n-air will just stack up damage until a gentle breeze knocks your character off the stage.

Donkey Kong is the heavyweight champ

Donkey Kong is the weird exception to the rule that overpowered Super Smash Bros. characters have no exploitable weaknesses. Donkey Kong is incredibly slow and can struggle with fighters that outpace him. While that sounds bad, the trade-off is that Donkey Kong is arguably the best heavy in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate thanks to some truly sickening power moves.

Donkey Kong's grab is the most noticeable element of his Ultimate arsenal that screams overpowered. Cargo Throw into proper edgeguarding is a ridiculous element of Donkey Kong's game, and his Cargo Throw also kills at high percent, a rare combination for a combo enabler.

Donkey Kong's down-B is also much better than it used to be, and his landing has always been a weakness in his viability. Down-B helps with that immensely, giving Donkey Kong what feels like a free up smash when it works. He suffers from the usual drawbacks that prevent heavies from being relevant tournament contenders across the franchise, but he might be the best iteration of the heavy fighter in a long time. It won't be surprising if Donkey Kong ends up the recipient of a nerf over the course of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's tournament lifespan.

Link has finally broken into the top tier

Link has been a series staple for Super Smash Bros. since the inception of the franchise. He has a large fan following thanks to the popularity of his origin series, and he remains a popular character even though he has rarely broken into the game's top-tier levels of play.

That changed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Link is heavy for his character size, which makes him good at tanking damage, but he isn't designed as a heavy in terms of his movement speed. That grants him the ability to tank and move quickly, something that very few characters can achieve.

The scariest thing about Link is his grab, which is a full six frames long. Playing around Link's grab and variety of punishing neutral and up attacks makes for a taxing match. Good Link mains will almost always be able to exploit their opponent's reluctance to enter his grab range, too, thanks to Link's reasonable array of ranged attacks like his boomerang and arrows.

Really, though, it's the combination of Link's character weight, power, and ridiculous grab that makes him a viable Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter and one of the most overpowered mid-size characters in the entire game.

Lucina

Lucina is the echo fighter of Marth, which means they share most of the same qualities and characteristics. This is true of her iteration in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well. One small change creates a different dynamic for Lucina, though, in that her damage isn't affected by where she hits a character with her sword. Marth's damage is better when he hits with the tip of his sword, but Lucina's is consistent no matter what.

Lucina is also very well-rounded. Her up-B and side-B are excellent, and the rest of her moves are simply solid. Her recovery is great, and her damage dealing is slightly better than Marth, whereas Marth is better at spacing. The thing is, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate makes it a little easier to space characters in general, which means that Lucina's detriment isn't as relevant as her improvements to damage.

Otherwise, Lucina remains very similar to Marth in the sense that they both do everything well and have no obvious flaws. Lucina is another character that is relatively easy to pick up, meaning she seems even more overpowered at lower competitive levels because those who are learning her will feel very far ahead of the curve compared to more complex characters. For that reason, Lucina deserves a spot in any discussion of the most overpowered Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters.