Super Smash Bros Link Guide by OMGALEX
Link is back.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Link was bad. I mean bad. He was fat, clumsy, couldn’t jump for shit and was just a poor character overall. However, because of the faster pace of SM4SH, Link has been returned to his former glory. Just as good, if not better, than he was in Melee. His speed has been upped ridiculously, to the point where I’m not sure if Toon Link is needed anymore. His few new attacks (that were so badly needed) add a whole new level of usability to the character, and no longer am I embarrassed to use my favorite video game character in Smash. Let’s take a look at what makes Link great in this game.
First of all, his incredible model:
Link looks great in this game, still retaining his gritty Twilight-Princess esque design, while lightening up the colors to honor his most recent console debut, Skyward Sword. His alts look gorgeous, and the yells and grunts that he makes are so very faithful to the games he originates from. So much so that I am 200% sure that they have been stripped directly from Brawl.
Next up, his taunts:
While I’m partially upset that his orgasmic hair-adjust moan hasn’t been carried over from Project M and Melee, Link’s taunts remain badass (dat sword sheathing) and faithful (Navi cameo!).
- Up: Sword Sheathe
- Left/Right: Navi
- Down: Attack Pose
Finally, his attacks:
In Brawl, Link was supposed to be a heavy-hitter. However, Link-players had to strain themselves in order to traverse across the stage with all of Link’s gear (ball and chain anyone?) weighing him down. In SM4SH, Link’s mobility allows his attacks to be utilized to their full potential. His new attacks complement his already good moveset so much that they make it something great, something actually worthy of legend. Let me elaborate:
- Dash + A: 13-14 damage
My favorite of Link’s attacks, this new dash attack allows for quick and easy starting damage, as well as a viable method of dodging projectiles, especially Villager’s deadly Side + B. This attack can even be tipped, doing one extra damage point if the opponent is hit with the very tip of the sword. It may not seem like much, but if you get used to tipping, it can add up to a game-changing extent.
- Triple-A-Combo: 11 total damage
Link’s classic swordplay is retained, though won’t be used much in higher-level play. It’s quick and without any real downside, but you’ll hardly ever find a use for it, as your opponent will never really be standing around. Most of the time, you’ll find yourself using:
- Left/Right Tilt + A: 13 damage
Just like his Dash + A, but wihout any tipping bias. dealing the same amount of damage regardless of distance from the opponent. Good for hitting someone around, but not for much else. There’s no reason to use this attack when you could be using the far superior Dash + A.
- Up Tilt + A: 9 damage
A mediocre attack, sending the opponent up only a little bit. It hardly does enough damage to be worth it, and is outmatched by the far-superior:
- Down Tilt + A: 12 damage
An extraordinary attack that everyone should use more often, this strike sends the opponent up a ridiculous distance. It does an average amount of damage, but is great when building combos, especially when used in tandem with:
- Up Aerial + A: 15 fucking damage
Link’s best attack, and the one that I use the most personally. Not only does it look great, it feels amazing. Great for combos, and viable even as a finishing move. This attack feels dirty, badass, and most of all, hype. The amount of hype that is in this move is only matched by The Knee itself. This move isn’t without its’ downsides, though. Its’ hitbox is extremely situational, and the lag caused when using it with shorthopping is pretty bad. However, these are both redeemed by the fact that, one, you’ll know to only use it to send an opponent up, and two, you’ll never use it with shorthopping.
- Aerial + A: 6-11 damage
Disclaimer: I have never, not even once, used this move.
The kick is back, dealing an ‘okay’ amount of damage up close, and an insulting amount of damage when tipped. Once in a blue moon you’ll use this move accidentally while trying to use the Forward Aerial + A, but you’ll never use it otherwise. Link doesn’t know how to use Kung-Fu, and is best when sticking with good old-fashioned Hyrulean swordplay.
- Forward Aerial + A: 18 total damage
*A great aerial move, this attack consists of two strikes, meaning that you’re pretty much guranteed a hit. This move is outstanding for shorthopping, if you manage to hit with both strikes, but is outmatched by (dare I say it?) the Aerial + A if you want a quick and low shorthopped attack. I could see it having more knockback, but at that point Link would be worthy of the Triforce of Power as well.
- Down Aerial + A: 23 total damage. holy fuck.
*Link’s ‘honorary spike’, typing this up is convincing me to use it as a shorthop combo more often. It’s capable of ‘bouncing’, meaning that two strikes are likely, which add up to an almost OP level of damage. It’s very appearant that it’s a better combo move than a spike, though, as I could count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve used it to banish an opponent. It doesn’t send the opponent straight down like, say, Ganondorf’s Down Aerial + A, it just sort of nudges downward. Even if you do use it as a spike, you’re going down too.
- Back Aerial + A: 8 total damage
This move is shit. I didn’t even know that this move existed until I started typing up this review. Link needs to stop pretending that he’s so cool with all of the kicking and stick to what he knows best, good ol’ Fi. Because his kicking game is 0/10.
- B: 4-12 damage
This is when Link really start to shine. Most people would think of Link as a swordsman, which is true, for the most part, but the thing that differentiates him from, say, Marth, is that Link has great sword game AND ranged game. This meant next to nothing in brawl because of how fat Link was, but his new diet in SM4SH means that his range really shows. The bow is fun for delaying the game and drumming up small damage while an opponent is trying to recover, and it’s certainly a cause of annoyance when using to start off a match, but it’s uses really end there. Most of the time, the sword will be a better use of your time. The bow can’t KO, it’s better off as a vehicle for some cheap damage.
- Side + B: 5-7 damage
The boomerang is weird. Really, really weird. The primary use of the boomerang is, in my eyes, a more efficient bow. It’s surprisingly good for close range, and on the return trip sweeps the opponent back a ridiculous distance instead of dealing damage.
- Down + B: 5 damage
I swear, every single match that I play, every single one, it’s always halfway through the match that I remember I have bombs. It’s for good reason too, I think, because they hardly do any damage at all. They’re fun for mindgames, I suppose, but there’s always a chance that you could accidentally harm yourself with them, which isn’t worth it in my opinion.
- Up + B: 12-20 damage
Link’s recovery, his big damage-dealer, and his most iconic move. You can use the spin attack in nearly every one of Link’s games, and Smash Bros. is no exception. It can be used during up close combat if you’re lucky, but where it really shines is during edge-guarding. For example, say you’ve hit MegaMan off of the stage, he sacrifices his dog yoshi-style in order to stay alive, and he’s falling back onto the stage, where you’ll be standing, waiting with a spin attack. It can be charged up, dealing nearly double damage, but the charging up animation is a bit telling, meaning that the spin attack’s most useful situation is compromised. As a recovery move, I’d say that it’s alright, but the lack of Brawl’s magnetic-ledge keeps it from being a truly ‘good’ method of getting back onto the stage. However, the move’s hitbox is so outstanding that just the fact that it deals an insane amount of damage (and sends ’em flying, too) makes up for it.
- Grab: 7 total damage
Link’s hookshot is pretty cool. In addition to a grab with an amazing distance, it works as an attack while in the air. It does have two hits, adding up to a pretty crappy amount of damage, but I can see it used as a nice pushing move. It’s great for shorthopping! But where the hookshot really shines is when it is used as a recovery move. It has suprising distance, and is good for that moment when you need it most.
However, Link isn’t without his weaknesses. Let’s take a look at what keeps the Hero of Time from being the next Meta Knight:
his abysmall recovery:
Link’s recovery is, at best, ‘alright’. He’s not Kirby, meaning that he’s not able to recover from everything, but he’s also not, well, um, Donkey Kong? I think that it’s fair to say that Link has one of the worst recoveries in the game. However, his hookshot ranks him just a notch above DK.
AND THAT’S LITERALLY IT. Link’s only downside is that he has an awful recovery. But this is far from meaning that he’s a bad character, cause he’s not.
conclusion: The Hero of Time is back in town, and after a good while of dieting, he’s just as nimble as ever. His swordplay is great, his range is amazing, but he still doesn’t know how to jump.
Thanks for reading!
t’s been three months; everyone’s (just about) settled into their mains. Mostly Marths and Pikachus, with some Megamans and Peachs sprinkled in somewhere. Not a Link was mained, though, especially not in this house. Seriously, guys, I’ve tried Link. I’ve tried so hard to main Link, and although I’ve pulled off some sickgrab + bomb combos (g’bombos, as I like to call them), Link is just way too sluggish, still.
Now I know that the main point of my last guide was that Link was finally good again, but now that I’ve put a few hundred hours into the full game (and now that I can use Fox), Link just felt so damn slow in comparison to all the other characters. Why should I be Link when I can be Fox? As a Zelda fan, it hurts me. I wanted Link to be good, and that encouraged me to dig a little deeper.
- One word: Nair
Wait a second, is this fox? the mid-air ninja kick, is this literally just Fox’s? YES! and it is GREAT! Does it fit Link’s character at all? NOPE! but is it welcome, putting life into a dying moveset? Bair sucks, dash attack sucks, Utilt sucks, Nair is the only thing holding Link’s arial game together. Imagine if you couldn’t use Nair to keep those strings going? It’s good, but why can’t Link just, like, shove his sword forward while he’s in the air?
I will admit, I wasn’t the earliest adopter of Link’s nair. I honestly didn’t use it until a bunch of wise folks in my earlier guide got to telling me how viable it was, and I believed them! It really helped me with my Link game, and it sent me on my quest of finding a main somewhere in this green tunic.
So what’s next, what else is there to be found here? what else can Link do? My search led me to more aerial game.
This move has got to be in some lists: ‘top ten most satisfying moves in SM4SH’, hell, ‘top five most satisfying moves in SM4SH’. It’s just so fun, and it’s actually viable, something you can’t say about some other satisfying moves in the game, like Falco’s shine. It’s not only good for ledgeguarding, it’s great for on-stage strings, spiking, wombo-combos, it’s Link’s bread and butter. Link may not be able to jump in his own games, but you can be damnsure that he can jump in this game.
- Aerial notes
Let me suggest something: Fire up your Wii U/3ds, pop in Smash Bros and go to training. Pit yourself against someone short like Villager or your cartoon doppleganger and select Link. A few dash attacks later, see how he’s trying to get back onto the stage? throw a few Nairs, Fairs, Dairs, even Bairs in there, see how long you can keep him from getting back. It’s just fun. Link’s offstage game is just entertaining. It may not be as gimmicky as Ness or Villager, but a good old Sword never did anyone wrong, except for the short nerd you just pummeled into oblivion four plus times with that awesome Dair.
So his offstage is good, but what about his Duck Hunt side? He’s got three projectiles, surely Link is nothing more than a trash little brother character?
I’m just as intimidated as you are, buddy. Three years of playing Link and I’ve never really gotten comfortable with Link’s, well, special side.
Go ahead, throw a boomerang or two. Five damage, huh. Cute. Doesn’t Link already have a projectile that doeseight damage? At first sight, it may seem like the boomerang is just a juvenile version of the bow; why use the boomerang when we can just use the bow for more damage? Well, there are a couple of reasons: The boomerang provides vertical knockback, while the bow provides horizontal knockback. Combine this with the incredible lack of start-up time that the bow has, and you have two very different moves. The boomerang is something to use in the heat of the moment; hell, you can even string it together with some ariels if you’re feeling up to it. The bow should be used strictly as a spacing tool. Nothing more, nothing less.
But the bombs, though, those things are sweet. Pull one out, you’ll find that they’ll stick around for about four seconds before exploding. Throwing one at your enemy nets you about five damage. These may just be empty pokeballs that provide some flashy assets, but it is crazy awesome what some people can pull off with these things. By themselves, we can all agree that they’re pretty hype, but combine them with grabs and you have something truly amazing.
Here’s an easy one; go up to your opponent, pull out a bomb and throw it directly upwards. Now, grab and throwyour opponent upward. See that? You just combined the damage of a bomb with the damage of an up throw! This little combo is awesome because it’s so easy to pull off: it’s kind of hard to mess it up, even if you wait to throw the bomb or your opponent.
Here’s one that’s a little tougher: stand about three steps away from your enemy and pull a bomb. Wait about three seconds, throw it up, then dash over to your opponent and grab him, waiting another second. Then, perform the most satisfying back throw in history. It’ll take some practice to get the timing right, but once you do, you’ll be able to pull this little combo off just as often as you can jump.
You’ll be able to come up with endless g’bombos in the heat of battle, it’s a fundemental part of Link and it’s one of the most fun.
This is something that I touched on in the previous guide; and frankly, well, it isn’t pretty. Just a notch above Donkey Kong’s, Link’s up B will give you the best of use while you’re on the ground. Charge it up to get a ledgeguard finisher and you’ll be just fine, but stray too far down the rabbit hole, and you’ll have incredible difficulty getting back up. Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that bad honestly, and as far as horizontal goes, you’re more than covered. The hookshot’s range is unbelievable! But Link’s always gonna have some trouble; his abysmal second jump combined with his up B is not one of his high points.
So how do we get over this weakness of his? I took a trip to final destination to figure it out.
Trying to figure out a way to counter Link’s recovery, I did a simple exercise while sparring with a level three kirby CPU: learning from my days as a Little Mac main, I tried my best to stay on the stage. This is important, so if you’re taking notes, this would be something you’d wanna underline. This is what Link’s all about, in my opinion. I just tried to kick Kirby off the stage and, while I was doing some ledgeguarding, I remembered all the wonderful defensive tools that this kit gives me. As Kirby floated back to the ledge, I instinctually pulled a bomb, and it dawned on me: this is what Link is! Let me outline some of my ideas for you in a simple, easy-to-read manner.
Stay on the ‘stage box’.
Keep yourself inside of what I call the ‘stage box’, or on top of the stage itself and within two imaginary lines that start on the very edges of the stage and extend vertically to the top of the screen. You can venture out a little bit for punishing and finishing, but you shouldn’t need to in most cases. Use your projectiles to extend your reach past the stage box.
Group the battle into two ‘phases’
Each stock should contain a transition between these two phases. This way of thinking works with many characters, but it is what I feel to be an integral part to Link’s playstyle. Each phase represents where you should keep your opponent:
- inside the stage box. (0-70%) In this stage, you should use shorthopped aerial strings and bomb + grabs to build up your opponent’s percentage.
- outside the stage box. (70%-death) After you use a few Ftilts, Fsmashes, grabs and aerials to get the opponent out of the stage box, this is when you use your various aerials and projectiles to finish off your opponent. Keep in mind that it’s often very safe to Dair onto your opponent, as you’ll most likely bounce off or stay within the space that your up B allows you to recover into. If your opponent manages to get back into the stage box, a few bomb + grabs or Ftilts should get them soaring.
Group your attacks into ‘offensive’ and ‘defensive’ categories
Link has a wide variety of attacks: almost all of them can be used for different purposes. What I like to do is assess the situation and then use my attacks accordingly: if I need to be offensive right now, I use attacks that have good knockback. These attacks include:
If I need to be defensive, however, I’ll use moves that provide space between my opponent and myself, or moves that are easy to land. These attacks include:
- Dash Attack
Now this thought that your attacks should be divided into two seperate camps is directly tied into the thought that your battle should be fought in two phases! During phase one, you’ll want to use offensive attacks, you need to get in the mindset that this is your house, you need to get the opponent out of your house! and once he’s out, you’ll want to defend it, so you’ll use defensive attacks, keeping your opponent from entering your house again.
Now this is what I’m talking about! We can now actually use Link to win some matches, isn’t this great? but there’s still one thing missing, one thing that we need to know in order to tie it all together and make our Link a truly amazing hero, worthy of legends!
Sometimes when you get caught up in all of this ridiculous depth that Smash Bros has, you forget that it’s meant to be a fun game. Party game or 1v1 deathmatch, you’re supposed to have fun. If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point? Link is definitely up there when it comes to fun characters, probably on tier with Villager and Falcon.
If you have any questions about Link or things to add to this guide, feel free to comment or message me.
Wishing you a happy new year,
-AlexOther Super Smash Bros Articles
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