Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Pichu

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has arrived and everyone is here! Hot off Genesis 6, Shacknews' Ultimate Character Profiles continue with Pichu.


For 20 years, Super Smash Bros. has seen Nintendo's greatest character butt heads on the battlefield. The franchise has since invited the most recognizable third-party faces from across the gaming world, with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate bringing everyone together. Everyone is here, along with some new faces joining the party.

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
#05 - Yoshi
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#07 - Fox
#08 - Pikachu
#09 - Luigi
#10 - Ness
#11 - Captain Falcon
#15 - Ice Climbers
#16 - Sheik
#17 - Zelda
#21 - Marth
#23 - Ganondorf
#24 - Mewtwo
#28 - Pit
#30 - Wario
#31 - Snake
#32 - Ike
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#40 - Olimar
#42 - R.O.B.
#44 - Wolf
#45 - Villager
#46 - Mega Man
#49 - Little Mac
#55 - Pac-Man
#61 - Cloud
#62 - Corrin
#63 - Bayonetta (Updated 1/11/19)
#64 - Inkling (Updated 12/15/18)
#65 - Ridley
#67 - King K. Rool
#70 - Piranha Plant

It's back to our regularly scheduled breakdowns. Let's look at another returning character from Super Smash Bros. Melee, one who's turned out to be much better than it looks.

Who is Pichu?

When Pokemania was originally hitting its fever pitch around the turn of the century, Nintendo and Game Freak came up with the idea of "Pikachu, except cuter!" And of course, the best way to see that idea through was to create pre-evolutions. Pokemon babies, if you will. From that came Pichu, the pre-evolved form of Pikachu. Pichu is just learning its electrical abilities, so they're not entirely controlled. But it still has enough electricity to power an apartment complex, which should give you an idea of how much power it has.

Pichu first debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee, just a few years after its debut in Pokemon Gold/Silver, and quickly sat along the bottom tier. But with 17 years to reflect on its Melee role, Pichu has had some time to evolve. (Not evolve into Pikachu, I mean "evolve" in a figurative sense.)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Pichu

Pichu's Moves and Fighter Overview

One would think that Pichu would be inferior to Pikachu in every way, but that's not entirely the case. Pichu has some slightly different attacks, with his tilt and smash attacks acting differently than its bigger brother. Pichu and Pikachu share specials, which prove to be just as effective on Pichu, with the only drawback being that any electrical attacks inflict minor recoil damage.

Here are Pichu's special moves:

  • Thunder Jolt (Neutral B): Pichu fires off a small ball of lightning that travels forward when it hits the ground. The initial ball will deal more damage, but lightning that travels along the ground can also hit for minor damage.
  • Agility (Up B): Pichu will recover at quick speed. Unlike Quick Attack, Agility hits for zero damage. It also inflicts recoil damage.
  • Skull Bash (Side B): One of Pichu's more reliable moves, Skull Bash can help Pichu recover by sending it flying horizontally. It can hit for moderate damage, unless it is fully charged. A fully-charged Skull Bash will hit for major damage and has KO potential.
  • Thunder (Down B): Pichu summons down a thunder bolt. The bolt itself deals minor to moderate damage, but the shockwave surrounding Pichu will inflict much greater damage.
  • Volt Tackle (Final Smash): Pichu surrounds himself with electricity and dashes forward. Any opponents caught are thrown in the center of the screen where Pichu repeatedly slams into them, culminating with a powerful electrical blast. This has KO potential, but can also hurt Pichu quite a bit.

Pichu is the lightest fighter in the game, making Jigglypuff look like Snorlax by comparison. So even at lower percentages, it's vulnerable to a big KO hit or to a fierce throw.

Readers might be looking at this and going, "Wait, most of this sounds bad. I thought Pichu got better."

Oh, it has. Pichu is now faster than it was even in Melee, allowing it to approach opponents and hit for strings of multi-hit combos. It's a much greater aerial fighter, able to move faster in the air. Because of its small stature, it's also more difficult to pin down, with some projectiles even able to clear it entirely. Lastly, there's the biggest change from Melee: Rage. The Rage mechanic makes Pichu much more dangerous than it ever was, with its specials amplified further thanks to Pichu's recoil.

But don't take my word for it. Let's look at a few pros that have seen the potential Pichu wields.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Pichu

Esports Observations

If you watched Genesis 6 over the weekend, you saw James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson finish in 2nd place out of over 2,000 entrants. And he did it by using Pichu. So what's made Pichu so great for VoiD? VoiD shows off Pichu's fierce neutral game and its amazing combo potential. Success with Pichu is determined by his reliable combo game and his "more powerful than it looks" KO power.

Beyond taking Pichu into tournaments, VoiD has been in the lab with this character frequently. One matchup worth looking at is Pichu vs. big brother Pikachu. And there's no Pikachu better than Eric "ESAM" Lew. Here's VoiD faring exceptionally well against ESAM's Pikachu.

Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios has also seen the great potential in Pichu. He points out the advantage in Pichu's diminutive size. He also touts the character's strong aerial game and aggressive play style. Learn Pichu's down-tilt and neutral-air, which will become valuable tools for any aspiring Pichu player.

Lastly, let's look at the crew from VGBootCamp. They looked at Pichu just before Ultimate's release, pointing out his aerial moves and his increased kill power. However, they do make sure to point out the shorter range of its attacks, so be sure to get up close.

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 on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, be sure to check out our full 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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