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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: How Good is Captain Falcon?

Captain Falcon is an iconic character in the Super Smash Bros. series. He is a character that always brings hype due to his explosive nature. Throughout the games, he has gone up and down the tier lists, but has nevertheless remained as an icon.

In Melee, he is a top eight character that has come out on top against the best. However, in Brawl, he took the short end of the stick and was branded as a low tier. In Smash 4, he had his good runs and was even a top 20 character. His metagame was carried by a small number of players that gave him the push he needed.

As Ultimate surges, the time to elaborate about his future arrives. Is he a good character?

His Kit

Standard Jab (“The Gentleman”)

The standard jab combo offers a great tool in neutral. It comes out very quickly and combos into all of its hits. It also offers an extra way to close out stocks at high percentages.

Rapid Jab
Is Captain Falcon good?
The Falcon punch is an iconic move that’s very hard to land. – Image: Know Your Meme

Compared to the gentleman the rapid jab is the inferior version. It offers damage, but enemies can fall out of it and punish Falcon. Using it should be reserved for niche situations.

Forward Tilt

A great tool in neutral that offers the range that Falcon lacks. It comes out very quickly and is great out of an initial dash.

Up Tilt

This particular tilt received a change from Smash 4 and can no longer “two frame” the ledge. Now, it should be used to punish opponents that mess up their recoveries. Other than that, it can be used for niche combos, but it’s useless in neutral.

Down Tilt

Down tilt is a swift move that takes a considerable amount of time to finish, but offers kill potential and another way to “two frame” an enemy.

Neutral Air

One of Falcon’s best moves in Ultimate. The first hit of neutral air sets up for a lot of fancy combos that can secure a stock. The standard nair can combo into itself at low percentages, and be used out of up air at high percentages.

Back air

An excellent kill move that rewards the player for a good read. It’s a great tool to kill offstage.

Is Captain Falcon good?
The “Knee of Justice” is a very strong move that has a lot of potential, but if the player misses the sweet spot, it can lead to an opponent’s punish – Image: SSB Wiki
Down Air

His stomp gives one of the most satisfying feelings. Its landing lag reduced after Smash 4, but it’s still a relatively slow move. “Two framing” is an option with this move as it clips the ledge.

Forward air

His signature knee has been taking stocks since melee. It’s not a great move by itself, but with proper setup, it can take a stock in no time.

Other Notable Facts

  • His down throw doesn’t true combo anymore into the knee or up air.
  • Raptor Boost (Side Special) grants super armor after the hitbox initiates, but at times, it whiffs even if the hitbox comes out.
  • The drift on his recovery was nerfed so that he can move even less after using it.
  • Falcon Punch is a really strong move with really niche uses. It takes a while to hit, but it can kill opponents at very early percents.

His Weaknesses

Outside of the stage is where Falcon is the most vulnerable. His recovery leaves him quite open to attack, making Falcon players typically struggle to return to the stage safely.

Also when recovering and landing the move on an opponent he can get rock crocked very easily. Rock Crocking consists of being hit out of a tech when Falcon or Ganondorf land their Up Special. It’s a reliable strategy that very easily kills Falcon.

Next, he has a slow initial dash speed. This is a problem nobody wants to have in Ultimate. However, Falcon severely suffers from it. To give a clearer image, he is tied with Link in his initial dash speed. This goes against Falcon’s reputation of being a speedy character and contradicts his playstyle.

His Strengths

Falcon is still a very explosive character that can end a stock in no time.  His nair to knee setups are very strong, but require a lot of practice due to the tightness of the combos.

He still has a reliable combo game that can wrack up a lot of damage on the opponent. For the most part, his up airs still link into each other, and his Up Special can secure stocks.

His metagame is in its early stages and once developed, he should grow as a character. His potential is still untapped as many players haven’t really gone too hard in the lab with him.

The Verdict

Falcon is a strong character that thrives in his strong combo game, but his weaknesses are still there.

Due to how easy he is to knock offstage and his lack of easy kill confirms at the moment, he is at most a mid-tier character. This means that he is strong, but the high and top-tiers can deal with him very well.

This being said, give Falcon another six months and the story might be different. Setting patches aside, his metagame might take him to the high-tier levels once developed. This character is the definition of untapped potential.

 

Featured image provided by gamebanana.

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You can also follow Dio Reyes @DioReyes_.

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