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

Hyrule's ruling princess returns, now as a completely independent character from Sheik. No longer overshadowed by her agile alter ego, Zelda has some neat new improvements that make her a threatening fighter. Veterans will certainly be familiar with Zelda's powerful attacks, from her damaging, multi-hit smash attacks to her signature lightning kicks, which require precision and timing to hit. However, this time Zelda also boasts enhanced special moves, including a brand new Down Special, Phantom Slash. Zelda is a character with a unique design, being a lightweight with powerful attacks that rival heavyweight brutes, complemented by strong defensive moves. With her poor mobility and awkward attacks, Zelda is not very suitable for beginners. However, once you learn her nuances and master her moves, this powerful princess will not disappoint.

Basic Attributes[edit]

Zelda is a middle-lightweight, being one of the lighter humanoid characters in the game. Zelda was never known to be a mobile character, and her walking and running speed are among the worst in the roster. Her jumps, dodges and crouches are pretty standard. Zelda's lateral air speed is in the middle of the pack, and she is moderately floaty in the air, as expected from a lightweight character.


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) Magic Spark Zelda holds out her hand and blasts a weak stream of magic out. This move is pretty slow for a Standard Attack, but it is one of Zelda's fastest ground moves. It has good range, so it can stop approaches with some good spacing. It knocks foes horizontally, so you can usually follow up with a Dash Attack or a grab after it.
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 Magical Slash Zelda swipes her arm forward, her hands charged with magic. The attack is stronger at the hand than at the arm. The move can be angled up or down with the control stick. This is a fairly strong spacing tool for Zelda, as it has good range and great knockback, especially if you hit with the tip sweetspot. It is moderately slow, so you definitely would not want to use it carelessly.
(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 Magic Arch Zelda swipes her arm upward, her hand charged with magic. This moves does weak vertical knockback, so it is a natural combo starter. It chains into itself pretty reliably at low percents, and knocks foes into the air for aerial follow-ups at mid to high percents as well. You can also use this move as an anti-air, since it is decently quick and has a nice hitbox over Zelda.
Up lstick+A button Up control+A button Up cpad+A button
Down lstick+A button Down nunchuk+A button Down dpad+2 button Boot Strike Zelda performs a quick kick while crouching. This is by far one of Zelda's best attacks. It is quite fast, has decent range and has the perfect knockback strength and angle for combos. This attack is pretty safe to use as a poke and to stop grounded approaches, so do not hesitate to utilize it often. It pops foes up slightly when hit, and can combo into itself and several ground attacks at low percentages. At higher percents, you can combo the move into Zelda's aerials, and potentially set up a potent KO move.
Down lstick+A button Down control+A button Down cpad+A button
A button while dashing A button while dashing 2 button while dashing Magical Lunge Zelda lunges with her hands held in front of her, emitting magic. This move is strongest at the very beginning, quickly weakening near the end of the attack. This attack causes Zelda to charge forward, which leaves her punishable if it hits a shielding foe. It is a good move to follow-up off a combo, as well as for punishing missed attacks or unsafe landings.
A button while dashing A button while dashing A button while dashing
A button while hanging A button while hanging 2 button while hanging Zelda climbs up and does a sweep kick.
A button while hanging A button while hanging A button while hanging

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 Magic Blast Zelda unleashes several sparks of magic forward, doing a total of five hits, with the last hit sending foes away. This smash attack does good damage and is Zelda's strongest smash attack knockback-wise, but it is punishable if you miss. Use the range of the attack to your advantage, as Zelda leans forward to unleash the burst of sparks. Opponents might occasionally escape the trapping hits before the move is finished, so don't let your guard down.
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 Magic Storm Zelda swings her arm charged with magic over her head twice, hitting a total of 8 times with the 8th hit having the launching knockback. This move is basically Side Smash directed upward, and it suffers from some of the same flaws. The attack is slow, and is easily punishable if you miss. Its multi-hit combo can also fail to trap foes for the entirety of the attack, weakly knocking them away before the move ends. Nevertheless, it is still a strong move when used seldomly, and can even serve as a surprise anti-air.
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 Low Pirouette Zelda quickly kicks in front of her, then behind. This is Zelda's fastest smash attack, but also her weakest. It's not strong enough to KO, so it is often used for its utility rather than its power. It hits both sides and is very fast, so it is a great tool for punishing rolls. It also has a very horizontal knockback angle, which often knocks foes offstage and vulnerable to edgeguarding. Finally, it has a moderately high trip chance, giving you extra combo options if you trip your target.
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 Magic Blender Zelda spins with arms outstretched, with magic emitting from her hands. This move is Zelda's fastest air attack and a relatively safe move in the air. You will primarily be using it as a reliable combo follow-up off a Strong Down Attacks and throws. It is also usable to defend Zelda while in the air as it hits both sides, although Nayru's Love is better in that regard.
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 Lightning Kick Zelda kicks forward. The move is weak unless you hit with the spark, where it does high damage and knockback. Zelda's famous lightning kick is one of her strongest moves, but also one of the hardest to land. You need both precise timing and positioning to sweetspot the attack, which is easier said than done when fighting against mobile characters. However, it is very worthwhile to practice landing lightning kicks consistently, as it is great for sending foes offstage at low percentages and a strong KO option. While it has very low startup lag, it has very punishable endlag, so make sure you do not miss or strike with the weak hit too often.
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 Reverse Lightning Kick Zelda kicks backward. This move is weak unless you hit with the spark, where it does high damage and knockback. It is slightly faster and stronger than Forward Air. Obviously, it is an improvement over Forward Air, but is also harder to hit with as your back must be facing your target. Everything that can be said about Forward Air applies to this move as well.
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 Fire Cloud Zelda holds her arm up and fires a burst of flame. This is one of Zelda's KO moves, although its properties limit your targets to airborne opponents above you. The fireball has a nice radius and good reach as it appears over Zelda, but it can easily be airdodged past and has problematic landing lag. Use its disjointed range to your advantage, and try to use attacks like Up Throw to set up the move.
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 Lightning Stomp Zelda kicks downward, causing a meteor smash. Strike with the area around her ankle to increase its power. This move functions very similarly to a lightning kick, and requires good timing and precision as well. However, both hits will result in downward knockback, so it isn't that bad if you land the weak hit, and you may even attempt a follow-up depending on your opponent's response after the weaker meteor. Nevertheless, it is always more beneficial to get the lightning strike, as you are far more likely to secure an offstage KO if you do.
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
A button after grab A button after grab 2 button after grab Invocation Zelda burns the grabbed opponent with magic. This move is a standard grab attack. It has average damage, but is fairly slow. Use it 2 or 3 times at higher percents when you get a grab to rack up extra damage if you want.
A button after grab A button after grab A button after grab
Right lstick after grab Right nunchuk after grab Right dpad after grab Arcane Toss Zelda spins the grabbed opponent and throws them forward. This throw serves the same function as any other sideways throw: to get your foe offstage. Use it on opponents too damaged to be comboed on when your front is facing the nearest ledge, setting up an edgeguard situation.
Right lstick after grab Right control after grab Right cpad after grab
Left lstick after grab Left nunchuk after grab Left dpad after grab Arcane Fling Zelda spins the grabbed opponent and throws them backward. This throw is very similar to Forward Throw, but it deals slightly less damage and slightly more knockback. Like Forward Throw, this throw is primarily used to get enemies offstage for you to edgeguard. It is also Zelda's only KO throw, but it's only strong enough to KO beyond 150% or with the rage mechanic in effect.
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 Launch Zelda flings the grabbed opponent upward. In terms of follow-ups, this move is mostly overshadowed by Down Throw, but it does boast greater damage for a similar knockback angle. Use this at very low percents, when you can combo it into moves like Strong Up Attack for juggles. Overall, you are usually better off using Down Throw instead for more reliable follow-ups.
Up lstick after grab Up control after grab Up cpad after grab
Down lstick after grab Down nunchuk after grab Down dpad after grab Sorcery Scorch Zelda steps on the grabbed opponent and burns them. This is Zelda's combo throw. It does the least damage out of her throws, but pops foes up at a vertical angle. Zelda can follow-up with any of her aerial attacks depending on the opponent's damage, from a safe Neutral Air to a sweetspotted Back Air attack. This is the throw you should be using the most often for consistent combos. At mid to high percents, it may even combo into KO moves, although you'll likely need to read an airdodge or attack to get the hit.
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 Nayru's Love Zelda spins around while protected by magic. The magical barrier does multiple hits to nearby enemies and reflects projectiles. This is a great defensive attack for Zelda. It has a nice long duration, covers Zelda's entire body, and even grants her a brief moment of invulnerability at the beginning of the move. This move can reliably punish most missed attacks and stop careless approaches, but it can also be used to punish dodges of all kinds due to its large and lasting hitbox. Its reflector functionality isn't bad, but while its long duration lets it reflect multiple projectiles with one use, it also prevents Zelda from capitalizing on a reflected attack. This move is certainly one of Zelda's safest close-range options, but you must still be sure not to use it haphazardly, as it is punishable on shield.
B button B button B button
Nayru's Rejection Zelda's magic barrier has less power and duration, but flips opponents around like Mario's cape. This move is...not a good substitute for Nayru's Love. While it does have a neat turnaround feature, some of its hits still cause flinching, so it's not as good against recoveries as Mario's cape. It is also an overall worse attack compared to the default Nayru's Love, with a shorter duration, slightly longer startup, lower damage and almost no knockback. At best, it is poor man's Nayru's Love with a weak gimmick. It may be good for confusing novice players, but your default variant is simply more practical and useful in all situations.
Nayru's Passion Instead of a defensive barrier, Zelda's spin has a vacuum effect that draws in foes, followed by an explosion at the end of the move to blast enemies away. This variant is meant for more aggressive Zelda players, but its offensive improvements are rather lackluster. It is certainly more powerful than a full Nayru's Love, but it has a long startup time and is too weak to KO. Its great reach helps you punish dodging maneuvers and missed attacks, but loses the starting invincibility on Nayru's Love as a tradeoff, making you more vulnerable during the move. Just avoid choosing Nayru's Passion, as Nayru's Love has more balanced traits and can still function as a viable attack by itself.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+B button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+1 button Din's Fire Zelda launches a slow-moving ball of fire which gradually becomes stronger over time, exploding when the button is released. She can direct the fireball up or down a limited amount. The explosion is stronger at the center. It preserves Zelda's horizontal momentum and stalls her fall in the air, but puts her in a helpless state afterward, so be very careful when using it offstage. This projectile has a glaring flaw: it is very slow. However, it also has good range, power and offers you control over when it hits. While it complements Zelda's steady, defensive playstyle, it does not impede approaches as well as standard projectiles, so you mustn't rely on it too much. You are punishable while directing the fireball, so this move is best used against an offstage opponent. Din's Fire is a strong edgeguarding option, and a sweetspot at long range can often result in a KO.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left control or Right control)+B button (Left cpad or Right cpad)+B button
Din's Flare Zelda launches a fast-moving ball of fire straight ahead. The fireball's trajectory cannot be altered and the strength of the explosion remains constant regardless of distance. This variant of Din's Fire behaves more like a standard projectile. It has the greatest range and speed out of all Side Special variants, so it is much more suited for use in direct combat. The inability to direct Din's Flare is a big downside, as you can't edgeguard as well with the straight trajectory of the fireball. Its lowered power at long range is less of an issue though, as you can still get a KO from long range if you hit your enemies when they are very close to the blastzone.
Din's Blaze Zelda launches a slow-moving ball of fire which takes longer to explode. Zelda has more control over the trajectory of the fireball, and the explosion is stronger than Din's Fire. This move is very tricky to use, but is much more rewarding when used effectively. Your increased control over the position of the fireball helps you set up traps or perform edgeguards more precisely. Even though it has a noticeable delay before exploding, its presence can intimidate foes into evading the move, which you can punish based on their maneuvers, It is also much stronger, and you can KO much earlier and closer to the stage with it if you manage to hit with its sweetspot.
Up lstick+B button Up nunchuk+B button Up dpad+1 button Farore's Wind Zelda turns invisible and warps to a direction of her choosing. Use the control stick to determine the direction you will travel in. Nearby opponents will be harmed when Zelda disappears and reappears. This is one of Zelda's best moves, as it has uses both for her survivability and for offensive purposes. As a recovery move, it is extremely flexible, capable of teleporting in any direction. It is also safe from edgeguards, since you can't be hit while invisible. Your safest option is to aim for the ledge, as the you will cancel the move with a ledge grab even while teleporting as long as you're in range. As an attack, the reappearing part of Farore's Wind is a potent KO move and is one of Zelda's most well-known features. You can punish laggy moves from across the stage with good use of Farore's Wind. The initial hit of the move sends foes up and can consistently combo into the powerful finishing strike, giving you a reliable KO option up close or out-of-shield. It does carry some risk when you use it, as it is punishable if shielded, and you will be wide open to attack if you miss in the air.
Up lstick+B button Up control+B button Up cpad+B button
Farore's Squall Zelda morphs into a gust of air and flies toward her chosen location. The move doesn't hurt foes when disappearing, but it has a strong wind effect at the beginning and during the move. This variant has virtually no desirable qualities over Farore's Wind. It sacrifices Farore's Wind's reliable KO combo and replaces it with a practically useless pushback. Its one clear benefit is the increased recovery distance, but it travels significantly slower and gives away Zelda's direction, letting foes anticipate your reappearance. Even if you don't rely on Farore's Wind for KOs off the top, the improved recovery of Farore's Squall is not good enough to justify its use.
Farore's Windfall Zelda warps strictly upward, causing a meteor smash to nearby enemies when she reappears. This move slaughters Zelda's recovery, but it can potentially KO foes way earlier than Farore's Wind, as long as they're offstage. While it is a deadly offstage move, you must consider how badly it weakens Zelda's recovery before using it. As it only goes straight up, you are limited to recovering from directly below the ledge. Additionally, it is only worthwhile as an attack offstage, so you leave yourself extremely vulnerable if you miss. These flaws make Farore's Windfall a very undesirable custom move. You're better off learning to land sweetspotted Down Air meteors, as you don't sacrifice Zelda's amazing recovery this way.
Down lstick+B button Down nunchuk+B button Down dpad+1 button Phantom Slash Zelda charges up her summoning magic. When the button is released, a Phantom will rush out to attack foes. The Phantom moves further the more the move is charged, and will either do a weak swipe, a medium cleave, or a powerful upward swing depending on charge level. The Phantom can absorb hits, but will break down after taking enough damage, rendering the move temporarily useless until the Phantom recharges. This move counts as a projectile, so it can be reflected. As with many chargeable moves without the ability to store the charge, Phantom Slash suffers from being sluggish and predictable. You need to charge it for it to hit hard, but opponents can easily avoid or interrupt you while charging. It also has an annoying blind spot between Zelda and a charged Phantom, so enemies can just roll closer to avoid the Phantom and attack you when you're vulnerable. It is mostly used while offstage as a risky edgeguarding move. Uncharged Phantoms can also be used as a quick shield, and even charged Phantoms can help against projectile zoning characters as a projectile tank.
Down lstick+B button Down control+B button Down cpad+B button
Phantom Breaker Zelda's summoned Phantom will always move a set distance and does reduced damage, but it chips away at shields more severely. A fully-charged Phantom will break a fresh shield without fail. Although its shield breaking properties are advertised as its main feature, you won't find foes shielding the attack very often since they can readily react to Zelda's charge. Instead, its main use is as a mid-range projectile. As the Phantom will always go a set distance, you can quickly summon uncharged Phantoms to act as meatshields and harass your foes.
Phantom Strike Zelda's summoned Phantom will only attack at close-range, but its attacks get a boost in power, although they have severely reduced KO potential. This variant is purely defensive, but it is a good replacement for the default Phantom Slash. Since the Phantom always attacks at close range, there will be no blind spot for your foes to exploit. This feature also makes the Phantom much more effective at absorbing attacks for you. Use it preemptively to drive back foes and stop approaches.

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 Zelda holds her hand up high and emits a glowing spark of magic.
Up dpad Up dpad Up dpad
(Left dpad or Right dpad) 1 button+2 button A button Zelda puts her hands together and creates a ball of energy between them.
(Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad)
Down dpad 2 button Down dpad+A button Zelda waves goodbye at her enemies.
Down dpad Down dpad Down dpad

Final Smash - Light Arrow[edit]

Zelda takes out a large bow and fires a blinding shot. that travels the entire length of the screen. Any opponents hit by the arrow will be stunned, even if shielding, then launched with great force diagonally. The first foe hit will receive the most damage and knockback, with the arrow getting weaker with every subsequent target. This Final Smash is one of the strongest in the game, KOing earlier than 10% on most stages. It is also quite easy to use, because as long as you line yourself up with your opponent's vertical position, you will likely get a hit. To get the most out of your Final Smash, wait for your enemies to line up before firing to strike as many targets as you can.