Link is ranked 35th on the tier list. Link's projectiles grant him a very strong camping game as well as great range, and he has solid potential vertical endurance. However, Link also suffers from sluggish mobility and moves, and his recovery is extremely poor.
Link is a heavyweight character, which significantly impacts his mobility and recovery alongside his fast falling speed and slow air speed, though this gives him great vertical endurance, making him difficult to KO.
Link possesses a versatile moveset in his disjointed reach with the Master Sword, projectiles, and Clawshot. All of these traits grant Link a powerful defensive game, making him capable of disrupting approaches from a distance. Link's tilts come out relatively fast, and his aerials, while hampered by his slow air speed, are useful for juggling and spacing.
Link's KO options are powerful, with his smash attacks possessing good speed and powerful, and can lead to potential setups, particularly his down smash. Link's up and down aerials are also good for setups, juggling, and KOing at mid-percentages.
Link's Special Moves are highly versatile for zoning and setups. Hero's Bow is useful for racking up damage and initiates stalemates against reflectors. Gale Boomerang can gimp recoveries as well as draw in items and opponents close to Link for combo options. Spin Attack is useful for knocking opponents away and juggling opponents. Finally, Bomb can be used to space opponents out due to its moderate power and can be used to aid in Link's recovery.
However, Link possesses a very poor recovery due to his low jumps, slow air speed, and little movement Spin Attack grants. His mobility is also subpar and his attacks have high ending lag, making him an easy character to punish if any of his attacks miss. His projectiles and extended grab can be negated easily by characters excelling in pressuring and negating projectiles.
Overall, players must remain steady with Link, relying on his projectiles to pressure opponents from a distance and his throws and close-ranged options to knock opponents away. They must also be capable of punishing with Link's powerful options, and maintain caution when using any aerial attacks.
Changes from Melee
While Link was buffed in power, the nerfs in his mobility drastically nerfed him as a character overall. Most importantly, his recovery is drastically weakened due to Spin Attack gaining little momentum and his lower jumps. In addition, the loss of L-Cancelling and wavedashing diminished Link's approach, and further compounding with his sluggish attacks.
However, Link's zoning game was buffed due to Hero's Bow's faster speed and stronger damage, and Gale Boomerang alleviates some of Link's approach problems by bringing opponents to him. Finally, Link can now use a Tether recovery, which somewhat improves his lackluster recovery, and his Grab Aerial is much more useful for setting up combos.
Cosmetically, Link's design is based off his older appearance from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, with his weapons being changed their appearance to reflect this, and his Hookshot is now replaced by the Clawshot. Link's black palette swap was reworked to be based on Dark Link, and he now has a yellow costume. He is now voiced by Akira Sasanuma, who had previously voiced Link in Twilight Princess.
- Dashes faster.
- Drastically slower air speed.
- Faster falling speed.
- Lower traction.
- Can now use a tether recovery.
- Neutral Attack hits three times instead of multiple times.
- Tilts deal more knockback.
- Down Tilt's Meteor Smash hitbox is smaller, being more difficult to land.
- Smash Attacks deal more knockback.
- Second hit of Forward Smash is affected by smash charging.
- Up Smash deals more damage if all hits connect.
- Neutral Aerial's initial hit deals less damage and knockback.
- First hit of Forward Aerial deals less knockback and damage, but second hit deals more damage and knockback.
- Up Aerial's initial hit deals less damage and knockback, but later hit deals more damage and knockback.
- Down Aerial deals more knockback.
- Grab Aerial has no landing lag and has its knockback altered.
- Throws deal more damage.
- Up throw deals much more knockback.
- Hero's Bow charges faster, and arrows travel further and faster.
- Gale Boomerang replaces Boomerang, creating a miniature tornado when returning to Link that pulls in items and fighters.
- Spin Attack can be charged when grounded, but gains little horizontal distance when used in the air.
- Bomb can no longer be hit with aerial Spin Attack while midair.
- Neutral Attack: Slashes twice before stabbing forward. 4% first hit, 3% second hit, 5% third hit.
- Forward Tilt: Performs an overhead swipe. 13%.
- Up Tilt: Swings the Master Sword above him in an arc. 9%.
- Down Tilt: Sweeps the Master Sword across the ground. 12%.
- Dash Attack: Swings the Master Sword over his shoulder. 12% blade, 10% tip, 11% arm and body
- Forward Smash: Performs an inward slash. 15-21% blade, 14-19.6% body. Performs an outward slash if button is pressed again. 17-23.8% blade, 20-28% arm, 19-26.6% body.
- Up Smash: Slashes three times above him. 4-5.6% first hit, 3-4.2% second hit, 10-14% third hit (blade), 9-12.6% third hit (arm), 8-11.2% third hit (body).
- Down Smash: Slashes in front of him before slashing behind him. 16-22.4% first hit (blade and body), 14-19.6% first hit (tip), 17-23.8% first hit (arm), 16-22.4% second hit (blade and body), 17-23.8% second hit (arm).
- Neutral Aerial: Kicks outwards. 10% clean, 6% late.
- Forward Aerial: Performs two sword slashes. 9% first hit, 12% second hit.
- Back Aerial: Performs two spinning kicks behind him. 4% first hit, 7% second hit.
- Up Aerial: Stabs the Master Sword upward. 15% clean, 13% late.
- Down Aerial: Thrusts the Master Sword downwards. 22% clean, 18% late, 8% bounce.
- Grab Aerial: Fires his Clawshot forwards. 4% first hit, 6% second hit.
- Pummel: Hits the opponent with the hilt of the Master Sword. 2%.
- Forward Throw: Throws the opponent in front of him and kicks them. 4% throw, 3% kick.
- Back Throw: Throws the opponent behind them and kicks them. 4% throw, 3% kick.
- Up Throw: Throws the opponent above him before slashing in an arc. 2% throw, 5% slash.
- Down Throw: Slams the opponent into the ground before elbow-dropping them. 4% throw, 3% drop.
- Up: Twirls his sword twice and spins the sword while sheathing it. Similar to his Twilight Princess "victory pose", which he performs after defeating a boss, learning a hidden sword technique, or putting his sword away at a specific moment after beating a common enemy.
- Down: Link's mysterious taunt from the original. He pulls his knee to his chest and draws his sword back behind his head. Similar to Lucario's down taunt. May be loosely based on Link's attacking pose from Zelda II.
- Side: Takes out Navi, a fairy, who will fly around him.
- Twirls his sword around.
- Looks to his side.
- Link flies in his Recorder's tornado and lands on the stage.
In competitive play
Role In Subspace Emissary
Link's role begins with him walking through a forest with his fairy companion, Navi. Upon reaching the Master Sword's resting place, Link pulls the sword from its pedestal, wielding it once more. In a clearing of the forest is a napping Yoshi, who Link at first pays no mind to. However, the Halberd soon flies over the clearing, dropping Shadow Bugs which soon form into Primids. At this point, Link and Yoshi form a team and battle through the enemies while in pursuit of the Halberd, only to lose their aforementioned target as it flies far off into the distance, though they quickly continue their pursuit.
Link's next appearance plays out depending on which princess is saved earlier on in the story. If Peach was saved, Link and Yoshi do battle with a Shadowbug clone of Peach (who had recently been turned into a trophy by Bowser) after it attempted to turn an unsuspecting Mario and Pit into trophies until Link prevented the attack by slicing the Dark Cannon in half. Upon defeating the clone of Peach, Link is attacked by Mario, who witnessed the defeat of Peach's copy as it reverts into Shadowbugs and drifts away, mistaking it for the real Peach. Then Link and Yoshi fight him and Pit. If Zelda is saved earlier on, then it is she who is cloned, and Mario and Pit fight the clone of her, and must then fend off an attack by Link and Yoshi, as Link thinks Mario killed the real Zelda. After the defeat (and subsequent trophification) of Mario and Pit/Link and Yoshi, King Dedede arrives in a cargo, and snatches the trophies of the fallen duo with an arm attached to it. Fortunately, Kirby (who had accompanied Peach/Zelda earlier) appears and frees the two trophies, and revives them as well. Upon revival, Pit/Link fires an arrow at the incoming cargo, slowing it down a little. The five characters then form an alliance and pursue Dedede.
During their pursuit, they find Dedede's cargo (now empty) parked outside of a cave, and decide to enter it. After getting out of the cave, they find Dedede's trashed hideout, and, upon finding a hole in the wall, they decide to enter it. After they get out of the hole, they find Bowser, who Mario tries to attack until Bowser raises Peach/Zelda's trophy as a shield, forcing him to miss. Pit then fires an arrow at Bowser, which he barely dodges, before escaping in his Koopa Clown Car.
They then pursue the Ancient Minister in a desert, trying to stop him from detonating another Subspace Bomb. Mario and Link begin to approach the Minister while dodging the lasers he fires at them. Despite their best efforts, the Subspace Bomb still explodes while the heroes barely escape the blast.
Link later appears after the team makes its way to the desert, where they aid another group (consisting of Marth, Ike, the Ice Climbers, Lucas, and the Pokémon Trainer) in fighting off the Subspace Army. Later, Link and Zelda are both present when meeting Tabuu, but they are defeated by Tabuu's Offwaves. If Link and Zelda's trophy forms are retrieved after the initial attack by Tabuu, they will both be shown agreeing to revive Ganondorf (who was turned into a trophy earlier on when he tried to attack Tabuu on his own), at which point they show him where their common target is. Link helps the other heroes throughout the rest of the story.
- Link, Olimar, the Ice Climbers and Toon Link are the only characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl who are left-handed.
- Link, Bowser, Luigi, Toon Link, and Yoshi are the only characters to wear their default costumes in team battles, when they are on the green team.
- Closely viewed, one can see that Link wears chain mail under his tunic.
- Link's bomb, along with Snake's grenade can deal damage to his teammate when fighting Team Battles.
- Link's different Tunics are reminiscent of the 6 medallions from Ocarina of Time with the exception of the Spirit Medallion which is not featured. The Red and Blue Tunics also relate towards the Goron and Zora Armour respectively.
- His K.O. scream is simillar to his cry from Twilight Princess if he were to die from lava.
- Link is the only character to have a new on-screen appearance in Brawl out of the original 12.
- Link's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!.
- Link Character Guide at SWF
- Link's hitbox size of each of his moves
- Link's Moves - History Behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl, by CrappyCaptureDevice (part 1) (part 2)