Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Luigi

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has arrived and everyone is here! Shacknews' Ultimate Character Profiles continue with gaming's greatest sidekick.


Happy New Year, everyone! While it's a new year, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is still here and it's still celebrating two decades of Nintendo's flagship platform fighter. Everyone from every Super Smash Bros. game in the series has returned to settle it in Smash once again, along with all-new additions to the series.

The game may be out in the wild, but with so many characters to choose from, Shacknews remains committed to taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually. And we are continuing to do so beyond the game's arrival date.

The final version is in the consumer hands, but these profiles should still 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
#03 - Link
#04 - Samus
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#07 - Fox
#08 - Pikachu
#10 - Ness
#11 - Captain Falcon
#15 - Ice Climbers
#16 - Sheik
#17 - Zelda
#21 - Marth
#23 - Ganondorf
#24 - Mewtwo
#28 - Pit
#31 - Snake
#32 - Ike
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#45 - Villager
#46 - Mega Man
#49 - Little Mac
#55 - Pac-Man
#61 - Cloud
#62 - Corrin
#63 - Bayonetta
#64 - Inkling (Updated 12/15/18)
#65 - Ridley

Today, we look at another returning character from the original Smash Bros. game and one of the first unlockable characters in series history.

Who is Luigi?

Gaming's greatest understudy. Luigi is Mario's little brother and perpetually living in his shadow. He's offered up his fair share when it comes to warding off the forces of Bowser. But he's often an afterthought, sometimes literally, in that he's been playable in second quests for games like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D Land. He's tried to set himself apart with different mechanics like floaty jumps, but if the Mario & Luigi series of RPGs have taught players anything, it's that Luigi will be the series' biggest punchline.

Luigi has, however, started to break out into his own beloved gaming series. Luigi's Mansion has seen the younger plumber take up the art of ghostbusting. He's investigated spooky houses filled with ethereal specters and is looking to pick up his investigation again later this year with Luigi's Mansion 3. Hopefully, he'll stay away from places like Dracula's Castle, for his own safety.

Luigi's Moves and Fighter Overview

Luigi's moveset in Super Smash Bros. has mirrored his brother's, but has had enough distinct differences that it's made him an arguably more appealing character. His specials are higher-risk, higher-reward and those rewards are oh-so-sweet, with an Up-Special that can KO often if it hits in just the right spot. For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Luigi has set himself apart a little bit further, not just from Mario, but also from past incarnations of himself.

Here are Luigi's special moves:

  • Fireball (Neutral B): Luigi has his own green fireballs, but unlike Mario's, his go straight across. They also don't cover a lot of distance. However, they will do slightly more damage.
  • Super Jump Punch (Up B): Both Luigi's strongest and weakest move. If Luigi's Super Jump Punch connects anywhere outside the sweetspot, it'll do a mere 1% damage. But if that sweetspot shot connects, it can KO and it can KO early. Be cautious when using this move, because if it misses the sweetspot or if it whiffs entirely, it is very much punishable, since Luigi just lands on his head and takes several frames to recover.
  • Green Missile (Side B): This is a move that Luigi can call his own, where he'll charge up and fire himself off to the side. A fully charged version of this move will deal considerable damage and also get great horizontal recovery distance. This move will also occasionally misfire, sending Luigi flying out of control. However, if this misfire hits an opponent, it'll do even greater damage and even KO.
  • Luigi Cyclone (Down B): This is Luigi's best crowd control move and one of his most reliable specials. Luigi will spin around and suck in any nearby opponents. It won't do great damage, but it's a good momentum shifter. The last hit can knock opponents into the air, setting up potential combos. Spamming the B button can cause Luigi to rise, making this a decent recovery option.
  • Poltergust G-00 (Final Smash): Luigi brings out his Poltergust and sucks in any nearby opponents before launching them off the screen. It will KO most opponents at higher percentages.

Luigi has undergone a few major changes, the biggest being his grab. Luigi can no longer grab opponents and swing them around, but instead, he'll fire off a plunger from his Poltergust. On the one hand, this new tether grab gives him much greater grab range. However, it's much slower and less power overall.

Overall, Luigi has received a speed boost, with quicker dashing and jumping speed. His aerials, as a whole, feel much better, with a more effective back-air. But one of Luigi's biggest charms from the past few games has been collateral damage. He can no longer get that with moves like his up-tilt or his back-throw, which stings when considering that these moves also do slightly less damage.

Luigi's specials are still great, though. Super Jump Punch gets better air, which is great for recovery and terrible for when the move whiffs, since the latter leaves him a sitting duck. Luigi Cyclone is fairly improved, able to hit harder and go off quicker, though the vertical recovery properties have been diminished. Green Missile should more of a go-to recovery move, especially with its reduced ending lag.

Esports Observations

At the moment, Luigi has an absolutely killer combo. And if you can master it, you'll become a much more dangerous Luigi player. The Beefy Smash Doods, former sponsors of the world's best Luigi player Matt "Elegant" Fitzpatrick, have picked up on this and offer a fairly detailed tutorial on how to make it work.

We check back in with the folks at VGBootCamp, who make it clear that Luigi's down-throw is his greatest combo starter. This move will pretty much set up anything. They also go into Luigi's more significant nerfs, like the loss of Luigi Cyclone's vertical recovery.

Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman and Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios have teamed up for a collaboration breakdown of Luigi's moveset. They make the observation that even with Luigi Cyclone's recovery hit, everything else about the character has gotten better. In fact, Mew2King notes that Luigi Cyclone has picked up invincibility frames. Meanwhile, ZeRo points out the usefulness of Luigi shifting to a tether grab.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out now on Nintendo Switch. We're still going through every single character, so be sure to check back in often for more profiles. For more information concerning Nintendo's latest Switch brawler, be sure to head over to Shacknews' Super Smash Bros. Ultimate walkthrough and guide.

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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