Super Smash Bros. Melee/Kirby

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A returning member of Smash Brothers, Kirby is a character in all three games of the Super Smash Bros. series. Although tier-wise he was the third-to-top character in original beaten only by Pikachu and Fox, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he became severely nerfed.

Currently, Kirby is ranked in the G tier in 25th/26th place (tied with Pichu). Among Kirby's best attributes includes his relatively long recovery, the ability to perform Kirbycide and a rather good edgeguard game, especially when combined with his Fence of Pain. Additionally, Kirby has a very good defensive game, due to his small size. However, Kirby's overall power has been strongly nerfed from the previous game. A majority of his attacks are considerably weaker and have smaller sweetspots. Kirby also has awful approach options, due to a poor SHFFL and the lack of a good projectile and went from having one of the best combo abilities in SSB64 to one of the worst in Melee . This, combined with a rather predictable recovery and a ease of being comboed because of his poor hitstun leads to Kirby to have generally abysmal matchups against other characters.

"A" Moves Analysis


  • Neutral attack: Kirby jabs forwards with his hand, followed by a short series of fast punches. Each punch does around 1%-2%.
  • Dash attack: Kirby runs forwards, on fire. Based on his fire ability in his games.
  • Strong down: Kirby kicks forwards while crouching. Fast, decent ranged.
  • Strong side: Kirby does a quick roundhouse kick forwards. Decent range.
  • Strong up: Kirby thrusts his back leg upwards. Infamous for it's shield damage.


  • Neutral aerial: Spins around, hitting with his limbs. Long lasting hitbox.
  • Forward aerial: Kirby kicks forwards three times. Last hit has medium knockback.
  • Back aerial: Kirby does a no-look kick backwards. Can be used in the Fence of Pain. Good knockback.
  • Up aerial: Kirby flips in mid air, kicking upwards. Great knockback, possibly Kirby's best kill move.
  • Down aerial: Kirby spins around, drilling downwards with his feet.

Smash attacks

  • Forward smash: Kirby jumps forwards, kicking. Has high knockback.
  • Up smash: Kirby does a back-flip, kicking upwards. Has high knockback.
  • Down smash: Kirby does the splits, hitting on both of his sides. Has decent knockback.

Grabs & throws

  • Pummel: A quick jab to the opponent, but contains more ending lag than most pummels. 3% damage.
  • Down throw: Kirby throws the opponent on the ground, then stands on the opponent, hitting the enemy with his feet. Only the final hit does damage. 8% damage.
  • Back throw: Kirby flips backwards, hitting the opponent on the ground. Can be used to Kirbycide. Escapable during the throw.
  • Forward throw: Kirby does a suplex, hitting the opponent on the ground. Can be used to Kirbycide. Escapable during the throw.
  • Up throw: Kirby jumps high up into the air, and comes back down, ramming the opponent to the ground. Can be used to Kirbycide on certain stages. 10% damage.

"B" Moves List

Move Analysis

B: Swallow

This move swallows the opponent and can either be followed up by pressing B, swallowing the character and absorbing their power, or by pressing A and shooting the character out as a star, causing damage and flinging the opponent away. The second technique can be particularly useful for shooting an opponent under a level, or against a heavy opponent, a combo opportunity.

Since your character can move short distances with this move, it is extremely useful on the edge, for either the swallowside or a false swallowside on certain characters. For more information, see Swallowside.

Forward B: Hammer

The not-so-trusty little hammer. On the ground, the hammer is swung horizontally, and sends the opponent at a 45 degree angle from the head. Beware using this move on the ground, because it has an awkward hit box, and the end lag of this move is extremely punishable. Instead, it is recommended that you use it in the air, since it has a disjointed (albeit low priority) hit box, and does a decent amount of damage.

Up B:Final Cutter

The Final cutter involves Kirby jumping into the air and swinging a blade downward into the ground, throwing a blade in the direction he was facing. It will mainly be used as a recovery move, rather than an attack. When Kirby is moving upward, the hit box is reliable, however at the peak of his jump, it is less so, and the projectile that comes from the result of the move is weak and slow moving, making it useless. On the edge, the downward moving blade can be used as a Meteor Smash, but is unreliable, so it is not recommended to use it in battle.

Down B: Stone

Using Stone turns Kirby into a stone of some kind, either a pink rock, a Thwomp, a pink box, or a weight. This move is a fairly useless move, since Kirby can be grabbed from it, and there is a large amount of endlag from the move, and it sends the opponent upward with minimal damage if used from the sky. It is not recommended that you use this in any battle, unless the opponent is guaranteed to die from it, and even then, a Bair is probably a more suitable choice.


Frame Data



As stated earlier, Kirby is a defensive player. You must take advantage of every mistake your opponent makes, and you must pressure them to make a mistake.


Kirby is a close range fighter. With no natural projectiles, he is limited to close quarters combat, but in fights against higher tiered enemies, the spacing of your opponent is a must.

Using the Ftilt is a great way to keep space between you and your opponent, but keeping them close enough for a finishing move.

Character Specific


The Swallowcide is a move used by many Kirby players as a way to get ahead a life, with little to no punishment and safely making it back to the level. This is a very useful tactic on Final Destination, since on most other levels, it is rendered useless by the shallowness of the other levels.

To accomplish a swallowside, you must Swallow (B) your opponent while either near an edge, or hanging off of a ledge. You will drift off of the level with the opponent in your belly! This would seem to be fatal, but do nothing. As you fall to the bottom of the level, your opponent will break out. as they break out, they will fall downward and die. At this moment you air jump upwards and continue to do so until you make it to the level. This is much easier said than done. On Final Destination, the frames you have to be able to make it back are as follows.

Bowser - 7 frames (i.e. 2/15 second)

Captain Falcon, DK, Samus, Ganondorf - 6 frames (i.e., 1/10 second)

Mewtwo, Marth, Roy - 4 Frames (i.e., 1/15 second)

Fox, Falco, Link, Peach, Shiek, Young Link, Zelda - 3 frames (i.e., 1/20 second)

Doctor Mario, Mr. Game and Watch, Pikachu, Luigi, Mario, Yoshi - 1 frame (i.e. 1/60th second)

Pichu, Kirby, Jigglypuff, Ice Climbers, Ness - 0 Frames (i.e., Impossible)

As you can see, the heavier characters are easier to swallowcide, but it is also based on the size of the character.

This tactic is useful on Kirby's Dreamland and Green Greens, however, be warned of Dreamland, as it is only possible to make it back from 3 frame characters and up.

Additional Note


Serious Advantage Match-ups


Advantage Match-ups


Fair Match-ups

Roy, Bowser

Disadvantage Match-ups

Peach, Pikachu, Mario, Luigi, DK, Link, Y.Link, Zelda, Mew2, Yoshi, Ness

Serious Disadvantage Match-ups

Everyone else