Luigi, despite his attributes, is often considered a mid-tier in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate due to his setbacks.
Since the inception of the Super Mario Bros. over 35 years ago, Luigi has notoriously been overshadowed by his brother, Mario. Other than the Luigi’s Mansion series, Mario has had more spotlight than his brother in each Super Mario game or spinoff. Luigi has been the player two in each Super Mario Bros. game, with the exception of New Super Luigi U. In addition, there has never been a spinoff game without Mario’s name placed onto it (ie. Mario Kart, Mario Tennis).
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario once again is usually ranked higher than his brother on tier lists. However, this can be open for debate, as Luigi has qualities that are unmatched by even some top-tiers. This can place Luigi in a weird spot for top players to rank. Top Luigi main Matt “Elegant” Fitzpatrick believes Luigi is a top 20 or 15 character.
Luigi has a frame two startup on his jab, a frame five startup on his forward tilt, a frame five startup on his up tilt, a frame six dash attack, a frame nine up smash for anti-airing, a frame five down tilt and a frame four dash attack.
For aerial moves, Luigi has a frame three neutral air, a frame seven forward air, a frame six back air, a frame ten down air and a frame five up air.
Luigi also has his down special, Cyclone, which has invincibility frames of 4-8 on the ground and frames 1-7 in the air. Luigi can use this attack to break combos. The hitbox is active on frame ten and lasts for a while.
Similar to Mario, Luigi can use his plethora of low-startup frame attacks to net some true combos at low percentages. Good Luigi players can rack on a lot, with some combos dealing over 80% damage.
Luigi’s up special, Super Jump Punch, is a highly committal move than is an excellent finisher to some of his true combos. The move kills early as well, meaning he has a few zero-to-death combos.
Overall, Luigi’s combo game outclasses most of the cast.
Luigi has three major weaknesses: poor overall mobility, poor range and a poor recovery.
Luigi’s poor range is also an issue for his brother. However, Luigi’s overall mobility, both on the ground and in the air, is among the worst in the game. His nerfed mobility makes it even more difficult than Mario to get in against ranged opponents such as Richter and Sephiroth.
He is tied for 52nd with Wario and Lucas in dash speed, he is tied for 42nd with Pit, Dark Pit, Meta Knight and Captain Falcon for air acceleration, 62nd in traction and he is second worst in the game in air speed to King Dedede.
Luigi has a ranged grab which can start up a lot of his combos, however it has 14 startup frames, so it’s only reliable to punish super unsafe moves.
Luigi also has a poor recovery. Unlike in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Cyclone does not gain a significant amount of vertical distance. This forces Luigi to use his side special and up special to recover, which in themselves give average distance at best. His poor mobility makes getting back on stage even more of a liability.
Overall, Luigi, at least in the current metagame, is widely considered mid-tier. Luigi mains like Elegant appear optimistic about what he is capable of.
“If you play a character that can’t platform camp or cheese him out,” said Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, one of the best offline players in the world in his YouTube tier list video, “he’s really dumb”. Dabuz is particularly known for his extensive knowledge on other characters, even among top players.
Only time will tell for Luigi’s future in the metagame.
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