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This article is about Ren/Joker’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For other uses, see Ren Amamiya.

Joker is a downloadable newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, representing the Persona universe. He is the first DLC fighters of the Fighters Pass, and is classified as fighter #71. His inclusion was revealed at the Game Awards on December 6th, 2018, the day before Ultimate's release, and was released on April 17, 2019.

Attributes

Strengths

  • Somewhat slim form, making him difficult to hit.
  • Fast mobility, enabling quick movement around the stage.
  • Capable of wall jumping.
  • Fast startup on many moves.
  • Low knockback on moves, resulting in a strong combo and juggling game.
  • Possesses combo throws.
  • Possesses good edgeguarding capabilities.
  • High damage output when Arsene is active.
  • Gun enables movement options for evasion and recovery while setting up combos.
  • Eiha deals damage over time while Eiagon does the same but possesses greater knockback for juggling.
  • Grappling Hook enables recovery well off stage vertically and can anti-air opponents for setups if grabbed.
  • Wings of Rebellion offers Joker invincibility on startup, making it difficult to interrupt on startup, and travels far.
  • Rebel's Guard can block attacks and reducing knockback for a long duration, giving Joker protection against aggression while charging Rebellion Gauge.
  • Tetrakarn/Makarakarn can intercept both forms of attacks, and has a long duration.

Weaknesses

  • Short reach, necessitating being close to the opponent.
  • Lacks KO options when Arsene is not active.
  • Arsene lasts a short amount of time, with the duration being shortened if Joker takes damage.
  • Struggles with recovering horizontally, though using Gun to dash remedies this somewhat.
  • Wings of Rebellion makes Joker easy to intercept due to having no hitbox and linear path.
  • Struggles against disjointed reach and small characters.

Summary

Joker is a combo-reliant character in a similar vein to Sheik, excelling in stringing together moves off aerials and grabs for a mix-up playstyle, though unlike similar characters his combo game can be supplemented by Arsene to increase his damage output and effectively finish off combos into KOs.

Joker possesses high falling speed, average weight, and fast ground speed, which results in good mobility on the ground and air. Unlike most humanoid characters, Joker has a rather narrow frame, which gives him a rather difficult hurtbox for opponents to connect to and allowing him to avoid most attacks.

Joker's strength lies in his powerful combo game due to the low startup and knockback of his moves. His Down Tilt, the first hit of his Forward Air, Neutral Air, and Down Air serve as good combo starters, while his Up Aerial, Back Aerial, Forward Tilt, and Smash attacks serve as good finishers. Joker's throws also support his combo game, with Down Throw and Up Throw being most notable. The fast startup of Joker's moves also enables him to punish overextensions and whiffed moves exceptionally at close range, and enables him to edgeguard opponents well.

Joker's Special Moves offer a wide amount of options to make his approach tricky. Despite its appearance, Gun is a disjointed hitbox that can be used to set up into various combos with its variations, most notably its aerial downward version, though it can also be used for evasion and recovery due to its ability to initiate a roll or jump while firing. Eiha is a more conventional projectile which can intercept others, and when connected can deal damage over time to the opponent. Grappling Hook gives Joker an effective recovery when off-stage due to its range and ability to snap on ledge, and when used on the ground can catch opponents and draw them closer for setups. Rebel's Guard is Joker's most defensive option, as it allows him to block most attacks with their damage output halved and knockback negated while simultaneously filling up Rebellion Gauge.

Joker's most powerful asset however is his unique Rebellion Gauge; by charging it with Rebel's Guard or by taking damage, Joker can amplify the knockback and damage output of his combo game with Arsene's own power to rival that of Ganondorf's, allowing him to finish combos consistently and deal damage quickly in a short amount of time. Arsene also amplifies his Special moves to a powerful extent; Gun Special inflicts more damage and knockback, Eiagon deals knockback and its effect lasts longer, Wings of Rebellion travels significantly far and cannot be interrupted on startup, and Tetrakarn and Makarankarn grant Joker vast defensive options due to its long duration.

Joker's main weaknesses lie in the short reach of his attacks and lack of consistent kill options when Arsene is not active. These weaknesses makes approaching characters with disjointed reach such as Lucina or small characters such as Pikachu difficult, as Joker's approach can be negated well enough without too much commitment. In addition, Arsene's strengths only last for a short period of time, necessitating Joker to make the most out of them; however, if Joker takes damage Arsene's duration will be reduced, which can accelerate his removal. Joker's normal recovery, while exceptional vertically, is rather lacking horizontally, which makes him easy to pressure toward the side blast zones, and Wings of Rebellion, while being a longer recovery, is also a more vulnerable one due to Joker having no hitbox and traveling in a linear path.

In short, Joker requires creatively pressuring with moves and grabs to initiate combos, as well as bait out aggression with Rebel's Guard to charge Arsene quickly. In addition, though Arsene provides massive strengths, they must be used strategically in the short time they are available in order to consistently deal high damage and secure stocks.

Moveset (Joker)

Rebellion Gauge

Rebellion Gauge is Joker's unique gauge that appears alongside his damage meter, which allows him to call upon his Persona Arsene. It is filled over time or when Joker takes damage, though it fills up more if Rebel's Guard is used, with the amount given greater when Joker is behind a stock. If Joker is KO'd, he retains 20% of the gauge.

Upon filling up Rebellion Gauge, Joker will shout "Arsene!" or "Persona!", summoning the being while taking off his mask (if in his Joker outfit) or his glasses (if in his Student outfit), with the same object disappearing from his portrait while the gauge turns blue. If Joker is not in hitstun or moving when Arsene is summoned, he gains invincibility during its startup and briefly stops his initial momentum, with a cut-in of Joker's face appearing if the match is a 1v1.

While Arsene is present, the Persona will attack in tandem with Joker, increasing its damage output and knockback, visually indicated by a blue slash. Joker's Special Moves also upgrade to Gun Special, Eigaon, Wings of Rebellion, and Tetrakarn/Makarakarn. The Rebellion Gauge drains slowly over a span of thrity seconds when Arsene is active, with Arsene's duration being shortened if Joker gets damaged. If completely emptied, Joker will shout, "Return!" or "Enough," and don his mask or glasses again while dismissing Arsene, with Joker being given invincibility and halting his momentum if not in hitstun or moving. Arsene will disappear briefly when Joker is grabbed or stunned, and if Joker is KO'd while Arsene is present, the Persona will disappear and the Rebellion Gauge will be reset to its charging state.

Ground Attacks

Normal

  • Neutral Attack: Performs an inward slash, backhanded stab, then an outward slash.
  • Forward Tilt: Performs a double thrust with his knife, with the second thrust going at a higher angle.
  • Up Tilt: An upwards swing with his knife that sends it spinning into the air before Joker catches it backhandedly.
  • Down Tilt: A baseball slide. Based off of Joker’s ability to slide under lasers in Persona 5.
  • Dash Attack: Performs a roundhouse kick followed by a baby freeze, a variation of the freeze break-dancing move.

Smash Attacks

  • Forward Smash: Rears back and swings downwards with both hands in front of him, similar to Falco’s forward smash.
  • Up Smash: Spins inwards while facing the screen, performing a knife uppercut with his right arm.
  • Down Smash: Sweeps the floor with a knife swipe in front of himself, then behind.

Other attacks

  • Floor Attack (Front): Slashes in front of himself, then behind himself.
  • Floor Attack (Back): Slashes behind himself, then in front of himself.
  • Floor Attack (Trip): Kicks behind himself, then in front of himself.
  • Edge Attack: Climbs up and slashes outward.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral aerial: Strikes in a circle while doing two inward corkscrews in the air.
  • Forward aerial: A hook kick, followed by a roundhouse kick, acting similar to Zero Suit Samus's forward aerial.
  • Back aerial: An upward swipe behind himself.
  • Up aerial: A corkscrew flying kick with a finishing kick, similar to Sheik’s up aerial.
  • Down aerial: A delayed downward arcing swipe similar to Marth’s down aerial.

Grabs and Throws

  • Grab: Reaches out with one arm.
  • Pummel: Knees his opponent.
  • Forward Throw: Tosses the opponent forward with a flourish of his arm.
  • Back Throw: Trips the opponent over his foot, similar to Marth’s back throw.
  • Up Throw: Throws the opponent directly upwards with a flourish.
  • Down Throw: Magically slams the opponent onto the ground while posing and flourishing his left arm, sending the opponent bouncing upwards.

Special Moves

Joker's Special Moves
Ultimate
w/o Arsene with Arsene
Standard Special Gun Gun Special
Side Special Eiha Eigaon
Up Special Grappling Hook Wings of Rebellion
Down Special Rebel's Guard Tetrakarn/Makarakarn
Final Smash All-Out Attack

Taunts

  • Up Taunt: Readjusts his sleeve while Morgana says "Looking cool, Joker!"
  • Down Taunt: Turns his back to the camera and looks sideways while Morgana says "Hey hey!"
  • Side Taunt: Crosses his arms while holding out his knife and gun straight while Morgana meows

On-Screen Appearance

  • Drops onto the ground before adjusting his sleeve

Idle Poses

  • Spins his gun before holding it close to himself.
  • Spins his knife toward himself.

Victory Poses

Joker's Victory Poses reference the victory screen in Persona 5, with the transition to the victory screen will showcase a puff of cartoony smoke before showing Joker moving continuously left. When transitioning to the results screen, Joker will say "Begone.", "Nice.", or "Hah!"

  • Joker walks forward scratching his head as Morgana transforms into the Morgana Van and drives next to him. Joker then gets into the van as it continuously drives toward the left.
  • Morgana bounces around Joker in the background as Joker beckons before running towards the left.
  • Morgana runs into the bottom right of the screen as Joker beckons before running towards the left.
  • If the game ends with All Out Attack, the victory screen will stay on the image at the end of the attack with the results being displayed immediately following the announcer calling "GAME!". This only applies if Joker wins a Stock or Stamina battle and if All-Out Attack finishes off the opponent over 115%.

Rather than the announcer calling out "Joker wins!", one of the Phantom Thieves may follow up Joker's win with a quote.

Phantom Thief Quotes
Ryuji Sakamoto ...Hah! Losers!
Yeah-hah! Nice!
Ha-ha! Who's next?
Morgana Smash is as wild as ever, eh Joker?
A brilliant victory!
Alright! Victory!
Mm-mm! Good work!
Ann Takamaki Feels great, huh?
Aren't we the best?
Done and done!
Yusuke Kitagawa And the curtain... falls.
We've done it!
Well... Onto the next triumph!
Makoto Niijima No time to waste!
Don't forget this feeling!
Done and done!
Futaba Sakura Heh heh heh! They're done for!
Impressive!
Okay! Moving right along!
Haru Okumura That was graceful!
Onto the next battle!
So much for them!

Moveset (Arsene)

If Arsene is activated, he will attack alongside Joker for all his moves barring throws, get-up attack, and ledge attack.

Ground Attacks

Normal

  • Neutral Attack: Performs an upward swipe, downwards finger point, then a hand thrust.
  • Forward Tilt: Thrusts his right hand forwards before raising it in a beckoning gesture.
  • Up Tilt: Raises his hand with a beckoning gesture.
  • Down Tilt: A baseball slide alongside Joker.
  • Dash Attack: A delayed football kick, which only affects the damage of Joker’s second kick.

Smash Attacks

  • Forward Smash: Swings his arms downwards, causing an X-shaped slash in front of the duo.
  • Up Smash: Waves his arm above himself with his left arm.
  • Down Smash: Kicks in front, then behind himself, similar to Samus’s down smash without a leg sweep.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral Aerial: Lays his back against Joker and slashes alongside him, forming a perfect circle slash around the duo.
  • Forward Aerial: A delayed roundhouse kick that only effects Joker’s second kick.
  • Back Aerial: A downward wave of his hand, causing the duo’s attacks to interlock with each other.
  • Up Aerial: A delayed kick upwards after Joker’s looping kicks, affecting only the last hit.
  • Down Aerial: A delayed foot stomp that acts independently from Joker’s slash, causing the move to hit twice. Unlike Joker‘s attack, it meteor smashes opponents.

In competitive play

To be added

Classic Mode: Shadows

Joker's Classic Mode is a reference to the Persona 5 mechanic of battling Shadows before recruiting them as Personas, with the opponent of the last battle, who previously appeared in a dark palette, to assist Joker in the subsequent battle in a light palette swap.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Mr. Game & Watch (x8) Mementos Last Surprise
2 Giant Kirby Kalos Pokémon League Aria of the Soul Mr. Game & Watch appears as a CPU ally in his white palette swap.
3 Samus and Dark Samus Mementos Mass Destruction Kirby appears as a CPU ally in his blue palette swap.
4 Meta Knight Mementos Beneath The Mask Dark Samus appears as a CPU ally in her white palette swap.
5 Dark Link, Dark Toon Link and Dark Young Link Mementos Reach Out to the Truth Meta Knight appears as a CPU ally in his white palette swap.
6 Giant Incineroar Mementos (Omega Form) Rivers in the Desert Link appears as a CPU ally in his Fierce Deity palette swap.
7 Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand Mementos (Omega Form) Our Beginning On intensity 7 or higher, Crazy hand joins the fight alongside Master Hand.

Palette Swaps

Gallery

Trivia

  • His English voice actor, Xander Mobus, is also the announcer, Master Hand, and Crazy Hand in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but his voice sounds different than the announcer.
    • This also marks the first time a Super Smash Bros. announcer has also voiced a playable character and the announcer in the same game.
  • Joker is the 3rd character which his invitation letter is seen during his trailer, the two first are Villager and Isabelle.
    • Also, this means Joker is the first character outside of the Animal Crossing universe, first DLC character and first third-party character who have his invitation letter appearing.
  • Joker is the 3rd third-party character to originate from a mostly M-Rated series. The first two being Snake and Bayonetta.
  • Joker is the first character to have two different trailers: a first one, a bit unusual, to reveal only his name and appearance as a DLC, then another, in a classic way, where gameplay and mechanics of the character are shown.
  • Joker is the first character to have a special Victory Pose when the player finishes off the opponent with a Final Smash
    • He is one of few fighters that with other people speaking during the Final Smash.
  • Joker is one of the few characters to speak while KO'd, saying "What?!"
    • Joker shares this line with Ryu.
  • Joker is the first character to receive a completely unique Victory Screen, as it lacks the Announcer calling out Joker for winning, and the only one to possess one transition from the game screen to victory screen.
  • Unlike in Persona 5, All-Out Attack will have the opponent emit sparks rather than blood, likely to remain within the game's rating
  • Even in a civilian identity, in which he wears his student uniform, Joker is still not referred to as his civilian identity’s name “Ren Amamiya”. The same case can be seen for Mii Swordfighter outfits of Persona 3 and 4 Protagonists, which are also not referred under their respective names Makoto Yuki and Yu Narukami in Smash games, unlike Persona Arena and Persona Dancing games. This was likely done so to avoid debate over the canonicity of their names, as all of them have different names in their manga and anime series, and they don't really have a name in their respective games (except the Persona 4 protagonist).

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