For those of you that haven't played, Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB) is an action/fighting game between over 35 of your favorite video game characters, battling on over 20 unlock-able levels. It is an ideal game for you if you enjoy letting out some competitive rage against your friends and random people online. There are a few ways to play, but the ultimate objective is to rack up the most KO's (knock-outs). The Wii version of the game is the 3rd installment released and whereas the graphics are obviously superior to the N-64 game, this latest version has been criticized for having weaker, less effective characters. I think this is bologna. You simply need to know which characters are best to play with!
The Superior Crew
What makes a solid fighter in SSBB? An entire Hub could easily be written outlining the metrics I use for judging the characters. However, for the purposes of this Hub, I'll keep it short: an effective character is above all else, well-rounded. You need a combination of speed, strength, & defense. Not only do you want to land your move first, but you need to make sure that each move counts for a decent percentage of damage your opponent takes. These are some characters that can get you there:
Zelda: She hails from the Legend of Zelda games as Link's love interest, but in SSBB she's more of his angry ex-girlfriend ready to enact revenge. Her best moves include: projectile bombs (b) that can track opponents from any distance and explode upon release, a down-kick that flings opponents horizontally until they're too far from the map, and her final (up) smash move that uses her light arrow to trap opponents in an electric web before tossing them into oblivion.
Wolf: Sometimes I think Wolf is a fake character, because you can really only use 2 of his moves and just annoy your opponent with a series of consecutive hits until they quit out of frustration. But hey, if winning is your ultimate objective, why not pick the guy who can get you there most efficiently? Wolf's gun (b) is slower and has a shorter range than some of his fellow brawlers (Fox and Falco), but it stuns the opponent and is a great asset in combination moves. His other damage-accruing move is simply his forward push, which is not only incredibly fast and difficult to block, but also yields decent damage, particularly when exercised 4-5 consecutive times. His down kick is an instant kill once you've built up a high enough damage percentage (above 100%).
Pikachu: Pikachu, as annoying as his sounds and noises can get (every move is accompanied with him screaming part or all of his name), actually is one of the most effective characters in SSBB. His lightening move effectively can block any in-bound air attacks, strike the opponent and throw them far from the map, or just instantly kill. Pikachu has extremely good range, which is important in landing moves first without getting too close to your opponent and letting them hit you. If you can bear the noise (or just mute the game while playing which is generally advised), you'll rack up some KOs in no time.
Marth: No projectiles, no fire, no magic. Marth rolls the old fashioned way: speed & sword. Similar to Pikachu, Marth's moves generally have solid range, so as long as you're coordinated, you can strike your opponent from almost any angle. I will say that playing well with Marth requires more practice as he doesn't have any "cheap" moves to rely on as back-up. Playing well with Marth is all about timing & coordination --- 2 essential skills for this game!
The Weaklings of the Pack
I call these guys the weaklings because most of the time, they just can't get the job done. Of course, it is possible to win playing with them, but let's assume you're competing against the best. The funny thing is that most of them are fast characters, which clearly proves that speed isn't everything. There are a ton of extremely slow characters that perform well in the game due to incredibly strong moves that are just tougher to land -- it's the timing thing! Anyhow, here are the characters that maybe should have just stayed in their own video game:
Yoshi: Some people find Yoshi lovable, but to me, that is exactly the reason why I don't want to play with him while kicking someone's butt. It's not that Yoshi's moves are bad, they just have that "so what?" feel. For example, his projectile move is to toss eggs, but the eggs crack almost immediately after throwing them. If they do actually land, they have a negligible impact on damage. None of his other moves are particularly strong or difficult to block. In all fairness, Yoshi still may be your best bet out of the four worst characters.
Luigi: Nowhere else does the inferior Mario Bro feel more inferior than in a fighting competition where his brother is also a contestant. Once again, it's not that Luigi is an awful character to play with, it's just that: why not play with Mario who is in every way, a step up? Mario throws fire balls. Luigi throws less effective green fire balls. Mario slides and trips his opponents (forward A), while Luigi flails his arms at them. Stepping out of Mario's shadow is a necessary prerequisite for Luigi to be considered a relevant video game character.
Sonic: Although I was a huge fan of the Sonic and Knuckles game for Sega back in the day, the Sonic in SSBB is just a spinning mess. Every move of his requires a fast spinning motion that generates almost no damage. It's frustrating to play with Sonic because it feels like you should have the upper hand since he's so fast, yet in the end you're just running around the map aimlessly.
Snake: Evidently, Snake hails from the game Metal Gear -- yet his gear in this game serves as a detriment when it takes 10 + seconds to set up each of his moves. Snake is the character that could probably lose to all of the rest because he is (a) slow, (b) slow at setting up, and (c) requires setting up. He can throw a lot of visible landmines which are not very helpful, as you can imagine. Maybe he would be interesting to play with if the game were Snake vs. Snake.
Dom Plez on July 28, 2019:
Imagine not putting ganondorf in bottom tier
Jon on September 06, 2018:
Lmao this is such a shit ranking. Zelda's a bottom tier, and Snake is a top tier. A lot of the info here is inaccurate.
SmashInfinity on July 04, 2018:
Wat about samus? He's good
Linktest on September 02, 2015:
UHHH how is snake a weakling they took him out of the SSBB for the
wii u because he was to overpowered, plus where is Ganondorf his B smash if it does't kill it does at least 55% of damage!
Samuel Franklin on September 03, 2014:
I was equally unimpressed with the feel of Sonic and as such always gravitate towards Pikachu
Aria on June 26, 2014:
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on January 16, 2014:
Good luck! :D
L C David from Florida on January 15, 2014:
I did not know that about the professional players. Maybe I'll have to try to learn Falco so I can beat my son!
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on January 15, 2014:
Lol LCDWriter, losing to Snake was always super frustrating. Did you know that SSBB is played professionally? I haven't watched a lot of it but it seems like Fox and Falco are picked pretty often.
I only have an Xbox now, but I'm considering getting the Wii U just so I could play SSBB again! :)
L C David from Florida on January 09, 2014:
My sons and husband and I all play this game and I think anytime someone plays Snake they win. I am trying to work with Wolf and learn his tricks. I find that the more I play a character, the more I learn the best way to utilize moves. I love how Fox can burn the opponents if they get to close!
Nightmisteryguy on September 03, 2013:
so far snake is the best
MasterfulMarth on July 26, 2013:
My best character is by far Marth! His counter can be really effective, especially on slower opponents. But it takes quite a bit of timing. Unfortunately, the only enemies I can fight are bots. :/
Kirbylover on May 01, 2013:
I personally really like Kirby! My brother likes pikachu and he can never beat me. I have a move that I do with Kirby where I suck a character up and float back to safety since most other players can't get back up after I do that.
asd on April 21, 2013:
this guide, i agree with (Pikachu rocks).
but really, you shouldn't say that about the "Weak" characters. everyone has their own prefrences. I, personally like Luigi, but HATE mario. I suck with snake, but I know a lot of people who think snake is the best. My brother is pwnage with sonic. Yoshi can be really good if you use him right.
I'm an anti-tier, any character, if used well, can be good. (but pikachu is still the best! even though I dont know anyone else who likes him...)
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on April 18, 2013:
Willsummerdreamer, I agree that all the characters are on equal footing. Peach is actually my favorite character - I love the turnip projectiles and hitting other players with tennis rackets, frying pans, and whatever else is under her dress, lol. The game is lots of fun. I too can't wait for the next one. :)
Will English on April 16, 2013:
Can't say that I agree with you about Sonic and Snake, and I would have put Wario on the list of the worst (but hilarious). Honestly though I think that pretty much all of the characters in SSMBB are on equal footing, but some take some time to master (if that makes any sense). Still a great game though. Can't wait for the next one. Good hub.
Chaos on January 21, 2013:
Snake is actually really good. He has access to grenades (shield cancel and then hit A immediately to pick up the grenade like a regular item.) which can pack a decent punch. You can throw it like a regular item to do some damage if it connects with your opponent. OBviously the power comes from the explosion, but using your grenades you can maintain control over the map. You have an infinite combo if you can manage to time your forward tilt right. Your forward tilt stuns the opponent and does some damage. However, if you wait just long enough, you won't do the follow-up part of the forward tilt, and instead start it from the beginning. This will stun your opponent again. If you can keep timing these well enough, you can rack up massive damage. Snake's up-tilt is really strong and has a big hit box. His aerial game is also pretty impressive for a heavier character. Snake's recovery is amazing. After you use your up b, you can deploy and then detonate your remote mine. If you get into the explosion, you'll recover your up-b, and often times the explosion will knock you up, helping you recover. There a lot of thigns about snake that make him really strong. Just because a good chunk of his moves are slow doesn't make him weak. You just need to to know which moves to use and when to use them.
Derp on October 04, 2012:
Yoshi, Luigi, Sonic and Snake aren't bad...
If anything... Samus/Jiggs/Ganon/CF are A lot worse...
I pwned 2 of my online friends with Snake, and I lived until around 200%+ every time.
(The level was Temple, but still, 200%+ is high on every level, except target test and homerun contest)
Plus Yoshi/Sonic/Snake require TONS of practice to be pro with...
HerpaDerp on June 27, 2012:
Meta Knight is actually the best character in the game. He was so good, he was banned in a rule set made awhile back. Also don't forget Ice Climbers or Olimar! Olimar took 2nd place at a recent tourney (Apex 2012) and Ice Climbers has a 0 to death grab!
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on June 13, 2012:
Lucario is pretty good too, Adrogoz. I did not review every character in the game, mainly the ones I have most experience with.
And no worries, Spectral! I've lost to Sonic when playing with my best characters. I'm glad you had success beating people with Sonic!
Spectral on June 13, 2012:
Sorry to downturn your theory, but i took on 3 people at the same time as sonic and won.
Adrogoz on April 30, 2012:
My personal best character/favourite is Lucario.
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on April 12, 2012:
Ike is a great character. And you're right, timing and practice are key if you want to have success with some of the slower characters. Thanks for dropping by!
ikemaster on April 09, 2012:
I am good at being Ike.He is my bst character and as for what you said about Sonic, my brother uses him all the time until we unlocked Toon Link. He used Meta Knight before we got Sonic. All of these characters have fast, not very powerful moves that somehow beat me except for Meta Knight. You could also have Ness or Lucas on the good or bad. You have to know how to use them to be succesful using them.
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on February 24, 2012:
Perry - haha yes adding more characters is not a bad thing. Though, I think the Wii version of this game went a little overboard. I mean, c'mon: TOON LINK?
Wolf - yes, I would certainly agree with your statement. I hope you voted in my poll!
doomer - I liked both Lucario and Ike. Lucario was the Mewtwo replacement from the N64 game. As for Ike, I think he's a great character, but it took me a while to get used to playing with him since he's so slow (albeit ridiculously powerful).
doomer on February 24, 2012:
the best carecter is lucario and ike
Wolf on February 12, 2012:
Wolf is the best character
Perry on February 08, 2012:
I think agent p should be a charater his smash move would be he lays an egg and tons of perrys attack you Another Character that should be in it is young link he was cool in melee Also Shadow The Hedgehog would be an awesome fighter and if you play on christmas you should be able to play as Santa Claus his smash would be reindeer attack They should also trade Wario for Bowser Jr. and you should get to play as the bosses espicily ripley and meta ripley
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on January 09, 2012:
Nagware, that's a good point you raise. I think for me, Pit falls into the category of characters that I did not play enough with. I haven't had the Wii for a while now, but if I remember correctly, his smash moves were pretty powerful, and forward b was maybe the most annoying move to get hit with in the history of the game. I think Zelda takes the "Beast" crown though :)
Nagware on January 07, 2012:
Pit is a Beast.... Why didn't he make in up here?
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on March 16, 2011:
I don't mean to hate on Yoshi...he's not THAT bad. Most of my assessment is based on experience: Yoshi, relative to most of the other players, is limited in variety of moves and strength. His projectiles are also kinda weak. However, I agree that Snake can be a decent player, he just requires practice because the timing of his moves is harder to grasp compared to the other players. I prefer the faster characters!
jackavc from Australia on March 12, 2011:
Great knowledge on ssbb but I feel you have treated yoshi with no respect at all. He is a great character and is quite strong. He also gets a bad rap in Mario Kart. Great hub looking forward to reading some more of yours
evvy_09 from Athens, AL on March 12, 2011:
Smash Bros is one of the games I really miss. I've played the first two but don't have a Wii. Fox was my favorite fighter for his speed and reflective shield.
tpr2 from Auckland on March 11, 2011:
Classic stuff, I've recently bought the PS3 and had to buy mortal combat vs DC comics for one reason only...it has all my super heroes battling it out with the mortal combat crowd and reminds me of when I was a kid and my brother and I would "choose a super hero" then start play fighting.
I love these games that are coming out and mashing up all the old classics. I'd love to see a Tekken, Mortal Combat, DC comics and Street fighter mix.
TripleP from Iowa on March 11, 2011:
Fun read, but I must say there are some REALLY good Yoshi and Snake players out there. Not sure if I would call them weaklings.
Marina (author) from San Francisco, CA on February 12, 2011:
I do play this particular game quite a bit. I played the N64 and game cube versions too...so I suppose there's a bit of a history there. Other than that, the only console I have now is the Wii and ssb is definitely the game I play the most. Though I also like super mario bros, mario kart, and the various board games for wii (like monopoly and trivial pursuit). I have super mario galaxy but hardly ever play it because it's 1 player.
How about you? Other than SC2, what other games do you play??
Edward Zhang from Bay Area, CA on February 12, 2011:
Hey Marina, great introduction to the playable characters! I'm curious, why do you like SSB so much? Do you play a lot of games? Is this your favorite game?