Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Cloud

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate set to release in December. And since 'everybody is here,' Shacknews is taking some time to break down each of the game's characters individually, continuing with Final Fantasy's Cloud.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest entry in Nintendo's ongoing premier platform fighter series. It's also slated to be the company's biggest release of the holiday season. After almost 20 years of battle between top characters of some of gaming's biggest franchises, Ultimate will bring together every single fighter from every Smash Bros. game to date (along with a few more) in one single game.

With so many characters to choose from, Shacknews is taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually, leading up to the game's big release on December 7. Because many aspects of the game are subject to change, including character damage and special move properties, these profiles should not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#02 - Donkey Kong
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#07 - Fox
#15 - Ice Climbers
#21 - Marth
#23 - Ganondorf
#31 - Snake
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#46 - Mega Man
#62 - Corrin
#64 - Inkling
#65 - Ridley

Today, we take a look at one of the more recent additions to the Smash Bros. series, one nobody ever expected until the moment he was revealed.

Who is Cloud?

Cloud Strife is the lead character in Final Fantasy VII, considered the quintessential hero in a series full of them. An AVALANCHE mercenary, Cloud takes up his giant Buster Sword against Sephiroth and his evil forces. Cloud spends a bulk of Final Fantasy VII trying to reassemble his fractured memory and his connection with Sephiroth. Once he does so, he's able to take on the villain in one final, climactic encounter and defeat him.

Cloud's popularity meant he would live on well beyond the final minutes of his story. A sequel CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children would see him take up his sword once more, while in the gaming world, he would pop up in the spin-off Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. In addition to cameos in numerous mobile games, Cloud has popped up in Kingdom Hearts, as he and Sephiroth have been destined to clash in that series, as well.

What's noteworthy about all of those games is that none of them ever appeared on a Nintendo console. Cloud had no connection to Nintendo prior to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U. In fact, this would act as Cloud's first official appearance on a Nintendo platform. It won't be his last, though, as Nintendo Switch owners will soon get to own most PS1 and PS2-era Final Fantasy games they might have missed. (Sorry, Squall.)

Cloud's Moves and Fighter Overview

In Smash 4, Cloud could best be described as a much, much better version of Ike, right down to his Final Smash. His only weakness was his poor recovery, but Cloud's Limit Break proved to be one of the most powerful abilities in the game and able to KO fighters at low percentages. His potent offense and his ability to halt speedier characters in the tracks made him one of the most ideal counter-picks in Smash 4's pro scene.

Here are Cloud's special moves:

  • Blade Beam (Neutral B): Cloud slashes the Buster Sword and creates a long vertical projectile. This can be upgraded with Limit Break to score multiple hits and cause much more damage.
  • Climhazzard (Up B): Cloud leaps and slashes with the Buster Sword, holding it over his head, for moderate damage. It gets bad recovery distance, even when upgraded with Limit Break.
  • Cross Slash (Side B): Cloud slashes down with his Buster Sword. If it connects, the player can hit B to add more follow-up hits. This can be upgraded with Limit Break, with the upgraded version dealing much more damage. The Limit Break Cross Slash is one of the most effective finishers in Smash 4.
  • Limit Charge (Down B): Cloud stands still to charge his Limit Gauge. It takes roughly 6-7 seconds to fully charge Cloud's Limit Gauge, though it can also be charged by dealing and receiving damage over the course of the battle. If the Limit Gauge is full, Down+B will unleash Finishing Touch. This deals only 1% damage, but the knockback is enough to kill at even lower percentages. It's a terror, but if it whiffs, Cloud is left wide open to be punished.
  • Omnislash (Final Smash): Nearly identical to Ike's Final Smash, Omnislash launches opponents into the air, where Cloud proceeds to bash them repeatedly with his Buster Sword. The final hit slams opponents to the ground, where it can KO at low percentages.

Cloud was one of the most powerful characters in Smash 4 and, as one might imagine, he's been brought down a few notches for Ultimate. All of his smash moves are either slower or deal less damage. His throws are slower and have less combo potential than before. And that's before getting to his specials.

Cross Slash doesn't quite do the crazy damage it did before and has also lost a lot of its knockback. It does have a slightly better range to help make up for this, but Cloud players will likely pine for the old version of the move.

But the biggest change is to Cloud's Limit Break. In Smash 4, once Limit was reached, Cloud could hold it indefinitely. That is no longer the case! Once Cloud fully charges his Limit Break, he must use it within 15 seconds or lose it all. That ups the pressure to make the most of this ability and also gives opponents incentive to run away or stall until the Limit peters out. On top of that, Cloud no longer gains Limit upon taking damage, but will now actually lose Limit if he takes hits, which could become a big deal and change the way some people play this character.

Esports Observations

As one might imagine, the Smash 4 pro scene has some feelings on Cloud. Up until the recent Bayonetta uprising (and we'll get there, don't you worry), Cloud was a staple of nearly every tournament. So there are a handful of top players who have plenty to say about the new version of Cloud.

First, there's Nicholas "Ned" Dovel, who is taking the Cloud changes in stride. The change to his Limit will ultimately not deter him from using his main.

Ned's also going next level and looking at the new Ultimate mechanics as a whole, observing that they might help fill in some of Cloud's recovery deficiencies.

Dash dancing is a valuable tool for any Cloud player. Here, Jason "ANTi" Bates puts Cloud's dash dancing to work at CEO 2018, an event where he won Smash 4 with Cloud just two years prior.

Here's Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios trying Cloud out at CEO 2018. Here he shows that Cloud's Up-Air is just as effective as ever, able to juggle opponents repeatedly before setting them up for a Climhazzard finisher.

Lastly, here's a move overview from James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson, where he goes into Cloud's major changes.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to arrive in December on Nintendo Switch. Shacknews will continue looking into each of the game's characters from now through the big day, so be sure to come back for more breakdowns over the coming weeks. And if you need an idea of what to expect before the big day, check out everything we know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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