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Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Wii U Link.png

The first swordsman of Smash and definite fan favorite, Link returns to Smash with some neat new moves and some minor tweaks to his kit. Wielding the Master Sword, Link's attacks boast both power and reach, but they're not very fast. In fact, Link's attacks are all a bit sluggish, which hinders his usefulness at close combat. However, Link has plenty of projectiles to make up for his lack of speed, each with unique features that help Link keep foes away or create openings in opponents' defenses. Link is a character that is equipped for any situation, and is a great choice for any patient, defensive player.

Basic attributes[edit]

With his wide arsenal of weaponry, Link leans toward the heavy side of the spectrum from the weight of all those items he wields. Mobility certainly isn't Link's strong suit. He has pretty poor dash speed and his jumps feel more weighted than average. Link's evasive options are pretty standard, although while his forward roll is slower than average, his back roll is quite quick.

Hylian Shield[edit]

Link is equipped with a Hylian Shield, a tool that is not just an aesthetic feature. The shield will completely neutralize any projectile that hits it, causing the projectile to disappear and preventing Link from taking any damage. However, Link can only use the shield to block attacks when he is holding it in front of him; as in, while standing, crouching or walking without an item equipped, such as his Bombs. This neat little feature isn't going to be useful most of the time, but if you have trouble approaching a projectile camper, it may be better to simply walk toward them then to maneuver around their projectiles.

Moveset Analysis[edit]

Standard Attacks

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) 2 button(+2 button2 button2 button) Slash and Stab Link slashes two times with his sword before stabbing. It is quite good for a standard attack combo, being one of Link's fastest ground attacks. The initial hit, while weak, does enough stun that Link can actually combo it into other moves like Down Smash or grab after a brief pause. Since it is so quick, you can use it as a fairly safe way to intercept attacks. If you really get into the habit of jab-canceling the first hit into other attacks, you can potentially rack up more damage than this move's standard three hits.
A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) A button(+A buttonA buttonA button)
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+A button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+2 button Sword Chop Link swipes his sword down in an arc. It has pretty good range and covers a nice, semicircular area, but is fairly slow. It does great diagonally knockback, but isn't strong enough to be a KO move until beyond 120%. This move wouldn't see much use at all, since it is both slow and it loses in coverage to the faster Strong Up Attack. It could be used to punish a predicted airdodge or roll, but Link has much better options for doing so.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button (Left control or Right control)+A button (Left cpad or Right cpad)+A button
Up lstick+A button Up nunchuk+A button Up dpad+2 button Blade Arch Link slashes in an arc above him, doing weak upward knockback. While this move isn't really fast for a juggle, it has huge reach due to its arc, and is certainly one of Link's faster ground attacks. When used for low percent combos, remember that the attack is slow enough that foe's may have openings to airdodge out of the move, so try to anticipate that and strike as the airdodge finishes. The wide arch of the move also makes it useful for general close combat, as you can hit opponents coming from multiple directions while launching them airborne close to you, leaving them more vulnerable to follow-ups.
Up lstick+A button Up control+A button Up cpad+A button
Down lstick+A button Down nunchuk+A button Down dpad+2 button Low Swipe Link slashes while crouching. This move usually hits foes upward, but striking a foe very close to Link will result in a moderately strong meteor smash. This is another move that is hindered by its slow speed, since it otherwise has great range for poking at opponents. It can be used to strike offstage foes at the edge, but all it's good for is extra damage, since you will usually just send recovering foes upward. The meteor smash is normally too close to Link's body for you to hit foe's before they grab on to the ledge, but it can potentially hit opponents staying on the ledge for too long or grabbing it multiple time until they lose their ledge invincibility.
Down lstick+A button Down control+A button Down cpad+A button
A button while dashing A button while dashing 2 button while dashing Jump Slash Link jumps forward and brings his sword down. This new move taken from Ocarina of Time has a fairly telegraphed startup, but it has nice range and can serve as a KO move. As Link is briefly airborne during the move, you can use this to evade low attacks and strike back. This move has two hitboxes, a strong horizontal one at the tip of the sword and a slightly weaker, diagonal one everywhere else on the sword. You should aim to hit with the tip, as it is more likely to KO and will get opponents offstage even if it doesn't KO. Find openings to use this move safely, such as to punish rolls with its long horizontal reach.
A button while dashing A button while dashing A button while dashing

Smash Attacks

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
Smash (Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button Smash (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+A button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+1 button+2 button Master Sword Combo Link swings his sword forward, knocking foes his with the tip away and weakly launching foes hit with the hilt. Use the move again for Link to do a finishing slash with high knockback. This move is one of Link's strongest KO moves, but it is also very slow, and you're extremely open to counterattacks if you miss or if the move is shielded. The tipper hit of the first strike is the easiest part of the move to KO with as long as you can hit with it consistently. The entirety of the second strike is much stronger, but also harder to set up. You will usually combo it by using the weak part of the first hit, but even this is unreliable, as you may miss opponents that are too close or if you mistime the second strike. Against novices, you could catch them offguard by delaying your second strike or using the lunge of the second hit to surprise your foe, but don't expect this tactic to work against more experienced players.
Smash (Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button Smash (Left control or Right control)+A button Smash (Left cpad or Right cpad)+A button
Smash Up lstick+A button Smash Up nunchuk+A button Up dpad+1 button+2 button Triple Arch Slash Link slashes in an arch above him three times, with the last time packing more knockback. This move is also strong enough to be a KO move, but it does have a fairly long duration, meaning that opponents have plenty of chances to counterattack if you miss. The first two hits usually do enough stun to trap opponents until the final hit, although the second hit can occasionally miss at low percentages against grounded foes. This move is also a decent anti-air due to its reach and semicircular coverage.
Smash Up lstick+A button Smash Up control+A button Smash Up cpad+A button
Smash Down lstick+A button Smash Down nunchuk+A button Down dpad+1 button+2 button Grass Chopper Link slashes in front of him and behind him. Opponents hit by the first strike will be launched upward, while opponents that got hit by the hind attack will be sent sideways. This is Link's fastest smash attack and the first hit is a fairly reliable KO move as well. This will be the move that often earns you KOs as it is fast enough to surprise foes or to punish mistakes like missed attacks. It can also be used to hit opponents that try to roll through Link from the front, as they will likely be hit by the second strike. The second hit behind Link sends foes in a very straight horizontal trajectory. It isn't as strong as the first hit, but will often put foes offstage, and can certainly KO if you're close enough to the side blastlines.
Smash Down lstick+A button Smash Down control+A button Smash Down cpad+A button

Air Attacks

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png 2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Hylian Boot Link does a simple dropkick. Like other kicks with similar animations, this move has intermediate knockback at the very start which becomes weaker after a while. The attack is more powerful at the front than at the back initially, while both areas are similarly weak for the late hit of the move. This move comes out very quickly and barely leaves Link vulnerable upon landing. Use it as a poke with the stronger front hit, or set up combos with its moderate sideways knockback. You can also use it offstage as an edgeguarding move that doesn't require too much commitment.
A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Right lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Sword Copter Link swings his sword forward two times. This move is much faster compared to previous games, making it a better attack to use when keeping your distance. It has pretty good reach and low landing lag, giving it both offensive and defensive uses. When on the offense, you can use it to do a fair amount of damage or just pressure an opponent's defenses using one of both hits, keeping yourself safe from enemy attacks by spacing the move properly. Defensively, you can use this move to knock foes away if they're not closer than a sword's length from you.
Right lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Left lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Double Boot Link kicks behind him two times. Another move that is both fast and doesn't leave Link open after landing. This move has pretty good reach, but Link isn't as safe from attacks as he uses his legs for the move instead of his sword. It is pretty fast and better for poking at shields and keeping foes at a safe distance than with your Forward Air Attack. While its knockback is adequate, it does pretty low damage, so it takes longer to rack up damage with this move.
Left lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Up lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Upward Thrust Link thrusts his sword into the sky, striking foes upward. This move is mostly reserved for air-to-air battles, as it is difficult to hit grounded foes with the attack. It is pretty good for juggling your opponents, although it does too much knockback to be a combo. The move also has a lasting hitbox, although its power decays slightly after a while. This long-lasting hitbox makes it easier to hit opponents spamming airdodge, making it better at juggling or just for normal anti-air. This move can also occasionally KO, especially if you land it close enough to the ceiling.
Up lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Down lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Downward Thrust Link thrusts his sword into the ground. Hitting with the tip of the blade at the very beginning of the move results in a meteor smash. Link's signature downward thrust is a little faster this time around, and it takes less time for Link to pull the sword out if he lands during the move. However, its power and KO potential has decreased significantly. This move is decent for air-to-ground assaults, provided that your foes can't respond with a quick anti-air. The move bounces when it hits an opponent, even if they shield it, and it can combo into itself at low to mid percentages. The meteor smash can be attempted as a risky but highly-rewarding edgeguard. The KO is all but guaranteed if you can land it on an offstage opponent, but you will be in a bad spot if they airdodge or simply evade the move.
Down lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png

Throws

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
(ZL button or ZR button)Control-Modifier-(Air).png Z button+A buttonControl-Modifier-(Air).png Minus buttonControl-Modifier-(Air).png Clawshot Link has a tether grab as always, giving him better grab range. Link's Clawshot retracts faster after a failed grab, which leaves him vulnerable for a shorter time but still long enough for opponents to counterattack if you miss. Link can also use the Clawshot in the air by pressing grab to use as an attack. The aerial Clawshot is weak, but it comes out fast, has no landing lag and has pretty good reach. Use it as a quick mid-range projectile to harass. Additionally, the Clawshot functions as a tether recovery if you're near a ledge. It has great horizontal range, and is often a better recovery move that Link's spin attacks if you're far away but level with the stage.
(Zl button or Zr button)Control-Modifier-(Air).png Z buttonControl-Modifier-(Air).png L buttonControl-Modifier-(Air).png
A button after grab A button after grab 2 button after grab Hilt Knock Link bashes the grabbed opponent with the hilt of the Master Sword. This pummel deals slightly less damage than average, but it is pretty fast. If you manage to land a grab at mid-high percentages, start mashing the button to tack on more damage before you throw.
A button after grab A button after grab A button after grab
Right lstick after grab Right nunchuk after grab Right dpad after grab Boot Kick Link kicks the grabbed foe forward. It is a conventional sideway throw that leaves opponents a bit too far for guaranteed follow-ups. You can use it simply to reposition a foe or get them offstage, although its knockback is not particularly high.
Right lstick after grab Right control after grab Right cpad after grab
Left lstick after grab Left nunchuk after grab Left dpad after grab Roundhouse Boot Link spins around and kicks the grabbed foe backward. Like the forward throw, but this throw is slightly slower due to how Link spins around. Just as with the forward throw, you can use this to get opponents away or off the stage. Back throw is usually the better option since it has slightly higher knockback out of the two throws.
Left lstick after grab Left control after grab Left cpad after grab
Up lstick after grab Up nunchuk after grab Up dpad after grab Skyward Swipe Link tosses the grabbed foe up and slashes them with his sword. This move is primarily used to get opponents into the air, although it can also be used to start a combo at early percentages on heavier characters. You can follow up with general anti-air moves like his Strong Up Attack and Up Aerial to pressure your opponent as they're landing.
Up lstick after grab Up control after grab Up cpad after grab
Down lstick after grab Down nunchuk after grab Down dpad after grab Hero Slam Link tackles the grabbed foe to the ground, launching them diagonally upward weakly. This is Link's best throw for combos, although opponents might be able to act out of it at very early percentages before you can follow up.
Down lstick after grab Down control after grab Down cpad after grab

Special Attacks[edit]

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
B button B button 1 button Hero's Bow Link shoots an arrow with his bow. The arrow can be charged up by holding the button down to increase its range and power. This move is the best projectile against opponents at long range. It travels very fast and quite far if charged, and it does a fair bit of damage. Use this simply to pester foes from afar, delaying when you fire the arrow if you anticipate an airdodge or an opponent dropping their shield. Arrows are also handy for sniping opponents offstage, with the arcing trajectory of uncharged arrows good for hitting opponents recovering from below.
B button B button B button
Power Bow Link uses heavier arrows that have drastically decreased range and knockback before they are fully-charged. However, once fully charged, the arrow will fly straight forward and deal high damage and knockback if it hits a foe. This variant of the bow is much less spammable than the Hero's Bow, since uncharged arrows barely travel at all. However, its fully-charged strike is ridiculously strong, being more powerful than Samus's Charge Shot. It is typically best for putting pressure on recovering opponents, as you have more time to charge up a powerful shot and can snipe foes near the side blastline for a nearly guaranteed KO.
Quickfire Bow Link uses piercing arrows that can strike multiple opponents. These arrows have a shorter range and barely any stopping power, but can be fired quickly. Like other piercing projectiles, these arrows can also pierce through destroyable stage features and items. This move is best used when battling with multiple enemies, letting you do chip damage and disrupt multiple foes at once.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+B button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+1 button Gale Boomerang Link throws a boomerang, which will then return to him. As it travels away from Link, it will hit opponents weakly upward. When it turns back toward Link, it creates a small whirlwind that drags foes and items along with it, but doesn't deal damage or cause flinching. This projectile is excellent at mid-range mainly due to its ability to be angled and its weak upward knockback that can set up combos. Try to hit enemies directly with the move, as it makes the boomerang return to you faster and allows you to throw it again quickly. The gale effect is somewhat difficult to make use of, but it can draw foes closer to you and set up your attacks while they are caught off-guard.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left control or Right control)+B button (Left cpad or Right cpad)+B button
Boomerang Link throws a regular boomerang that cannot generate whirlwinds. The boomerang has greater knockback when it is moving away from Link, and it can still strike foes with a much weaker hit when returning to him. If you can't or don't use the wind of the Gale Boomerang often, this custom move should be the better pick, as you still retain all of the advantages of the initial strike in addition to the new utility of the returning boomerang hit. A returning boomerang can be used to interrupt enemy combos or to set up your own combos, as well as to create traps that your opponent has to maneuver around.
Ripping Boomerang Link's boomerang is charged with electricity, letting it pierce through opponents and hit them multiple times at the cost of the boomerang's range. This boomerang is more disruptive, although its reduced range seriously hamper its use. At most ranges where it is safe to toss out your boomerang, you will only be able to hit your foe at the max range of the Ripping Boomerang, often only doing one hit. It is stronger against multiple opponents as it is easier to trap and rack up damage on a bunch of them, but you're giving up a lot of utility that the other boomerangs provide.
Up lstick+B button Up nunchuk+B button Up dpad+1 button Spin Attack Link spins around rapidly with his sword. It can be charged on the ground to unleash a single, strong strike. In the air, it is Link's primary recovery move and hits multiple times. Link's recovery is better than ever, and this iteration of the Spin Attack probably travels the furthest compared to past games. Link has some degree of horizontal control as he ascends, giving it a more malleable trajectory. The move is affected by momentum, so Link will go further if you use it immediately after your second jump. As an aerial attack, the hitboxes are only there to deter edgeguarders, and they are quite effective due to the sword's range. On the ground, this move is effectively a second Down Smash, being both charge-able and hitting both sides. It is quite powerful once charged up, but attentive enemies are unlikely to be caught in a charged Spin Attack.
Up lstick+B button Up control+B button Up cpad+B button
Shocking Spin Link's spin attack gains electrical properties, giving him more power when he spins but reducing the distance travelled when used in the air. Use this custom move if you often use the normal Spin Attack as an actual attack. The grounded spin is really strong, and a fully-charged initial strike can KO opponents from about 70%. While your recovery is worse, it is not affected too much if you're not reckless offstage, and can turn the tables on any attempted edgeguards due to its high power.
Whirling Leap Link spins up while assisted by the wind. The move does not do damage or knockback, but Link travels more distance with better horizontal movement, enough for Link to zig-zag as he moves up. This move maximizes the spin attack's utility as a recovery move, letting Link be more flexible at returning to the stage. The sheer horizontal distance and control you get from Whirling Leap means that Link can choose to grab on to the ledge or soar over any foe waiting there and landing safely onstage. Of course, the lack of a hitbox means you are more vulnerable to edgeguarders, so you must really make use of the maneuverability of the move to evade incoming attacks during your recovery.
Down lstick+B button Down nunchuk+B button Down dpad+1 button Bomb Link pulls out a bomb which functions as a thrown item that explodes when it hits an enemy, or when its timer runs out. The bombs do weak, upward knockback that makes them very good for setting up combos. Link's bombs gain an interesting feature in Smash 4. While Link will normally take splash damage if he holds the bomb for too long or throws it to terrain close to himself, Link will not be hit by the explosion at all if he directly hits an opponent with the bomb. As items can be thrown out of shield and during an airdodge, it gives Link an additional means of defense against foes pressuring his defenses up close. The bombs are also less volatile, and they won't explode if lightly dropped close to the ground or if they hit a shield, letting you pick up the bomb again or leave it there as a mine.

Link's bombs can also be used for the famous "bomb jump" technique. By recovering into an exploding bomb, Link can refresh his recovery to cover a greater distance. The fuse of the bomb is noticeably shortened in this iteration of Smash, so you can now simply hold on to the bomb while recovering and it will likely blow up as soon as you start to fall.

Down lstick+B button Down control+B button Down cpad+B button
Giant Bomb Link pulls out a huge bomb which does not explode when hitting foes or terrain. The large bomb naturally has a larger blast radius, as well as slightly more power. This bomb is purely for area denial, since Link can't directly hit enemies with it or combo effectively off of it. Leave it lying around to restrict your opponent's movement and to control space. As with the normal Bomb, your foes can also grab Giant Bombs and reposition them, so your stage control strategies may backfire on you.
Meteor Bomb Link pulls out a bomb with a short fuse that acts as a meteor smash to enemies it hits. This is possibly Link's best custom special. While the Meteor Bomb doesn't knock opponents upward, it keeps them grounded and in hitstun, making it even easier to follow up off of a bomb. It can also be used as an anti-air to knock foes down, setting up more combos. Additionally, it serves as a potent edgeguard at high percentages, letting you meteor smash someone from a safe distance. However, the bomb's reduced fuse means you can't save the bomb until an ideal moment, so you have to make use of it almost immediately. It is also detrimental to bomb jumping, as having the bomb explode while you're holding it will cause you to plummet instead!

Taunts

Control Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
Up dpad 1 button Up dpad+A button Link twirls the Master Sword and sheathes it briefly.
Up dpad Up dpad Up dpad
(Left dpad or Right dpad) 1 button+2 button A button A fairy flutters around Link as he stares at it curiously.
(Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad)
Down dpad 2 button Down dpad+A button Link strikes a quick pose.
Down dpad Down dpad Down dpad

Final Smash - Triforce Slash[edit]

Upon using the Final Smash, Link will send out his Triforce, which functions as an invisible projectile. If the Triforce hits an enemy player, said player will be trapped between two Triforce pieces as Link tears them apart with a ton of slashes, finishing with a powerful strike that knocks the target sideways. Anyone too close during the Final Smash can also be hit by Link's slashes. It is possible to get trapped in Link's barrage of slices if you aren't targeted, but the pause before the final slash gives you enough time to get out of the way. As mentioned before, this move is a trapping type of Final Smash, which requires you to land the initial hit to trigger the rest of the move. It is one of the better trapping Final Smashes in the game, since the Triforce projectile has amazing horizontal distance, traveling the length of most medium-sized stages. One disadvantage of Triforce Slash is its inability to trap multiple opponents with the attack, but the sheer power and ease of activation more than makes up for that.