Following his earlier appearance in Super Smash Bros., Luigi returns in Melee, again an unlockable character. He is currently ranked 14th in the SSBM tier list and second amongst the low tier characters. Several unique elements to Luigi's physics give him advantages in Melee that he did not have in SSB, where he is ranked 3rd to last.
Per his physics in previous Nintendo games, Luigi is a floaty character with a high jump and low traction. His recovery is long but slow and predictable. His aerial attacks are quick, effective and virtually lag-free. Luigi can also lay claim to the longest wavedash in the game. This allows him to slide across the stage in lengthy bursts at speeds nearly as fast Captain Falcon's run. Additionally, due to his floaty nature and low-lag aerial attacks, Luigi's greatest strengths at high level play are the abilities to string together multiple aerials in single short hops and wavelanding aerials for fast and easy mobility along the stage.
Luigi is also a character who relies more heavily on luck than most of the others. With the 12.5% chance of a spontaneous misfire occurring on his green missile attack, he can very easily self-destruct unintentionally on smaller stages. Additionally, in order for his recovery to be at its most effective, Luigi will have had to have performed a tornado (down B) on the surface of the stage before being sent flying. As such, there is no guarantee that his maximum recovery distance will always be available in combat.
Luigi's advantages and disadvantages are fairly distinct and as the game's depth has slowly been uncovered, his position in the tier list has fallen considerably from his rank in previous tier lists. Although there is always debate amongst Luigi players, there is a general consensus that Luigi has a difficult matchup against higher-tiered characters such as Marth and Fox. As a result, many of the tournament-seasoned Luigis have either dropped off the professional scene or taken up different characters to keep pace with the steadily intesifying competition.
Pros & Cons
- Long horizontal recovery
- Longest wavedash in the game
- High-damage combos
- Fast and powerful aerials
- High vertical jumping compliments vertical-trajectory ground attacks
- Sluggish dash and run
- Slow fallspeed, slowing his aerial game
- Poor projectile
- Predictable, slow recovery
- Poor horizontal jump distance
- Poor synergy of his movement (which is best on the ground) and his attacks (which are best in mid-air).
Basic A Combo
- A - Jab = 1-3%
- A A - Jab = 1-2%
- A A A - Bump = 2-5%
TOTAL DAMAGE = 4-10%
The standing neutral A button combo with Luigi does a total of 10% damage over three hits. It is useful as a low-damage opener and many players elect to omit the third strike of the combo as it will knock your opponent away from you and suffers from greater lag than the jabs.
- Projectiles - Since Luigi has no immediately obvious defense against items and other projectiles like a cape or a shine, one alternative is to time your jabs to cancel out whatever's being thrown at you, assuming it is something you are capable of snuffing out. Examples of projectile-jabbing utility can be best seen against Mario's fireballs, Link's boomerangs, Dr. Mario's pills and projectiles with similar properties.
- Jab Cancels - After the first jab of any basic A combo, you can quickly tap down at the very end of the jab animation to restart the combo. By repeating this process, you can continuously jab with only the first hit of the combo at a rate comparable to repeating all three hits of the sequence without the lag and knockback of the third hit.
Luigi's forward tilt is a multi-purpose tool that can be angled in three directions upwards, forwards and downwards. Both the straight and upward trajectories offer good knockback and can be used on opponents approaching from the air and on the ground.
- Up tilt - Kittenswipe = 4-9% damage
Although harmless in appearance, Luigi's up tilt is his most useful tilt in competitive Smash because of its effect on fast fallers. The kittenswipe hits above Luigi as well as slightly in front of and behind him, so juggling fast fallers can be effective for at least a few strikes even with competent DI. Also, the hitbox lends itself better to hitting opponents above you on platforms than a regular up-smash.
- Down tilt - Crouch Kick = 4-9% damage
Short range, low knockback and low speed all apply to Luigi's lacking down tilt. The only redeeming quality of the crouch kick is the fact that it (along with the equally ineffectual taunt spike) is one of Luigi's two only moves that will consistently hit someone who is hanging from the ledge. However, the startup animation is and it offers little to no combo fluidity as Luigi's other ground attacks do.
- Forward smash - Poke = 7-19% damage
Luigi winds up and launches his hand straight into his opponent, sending them at a forward and upward trajectory. Its usefulness is less apparent than that of his other smashes; however, it has situational use as a combo finisher. It can be angled up or down to vary the hitbox and shield stab the opponent. Additionally, charging a forward smash will cease Luigi's momentum in mid-wavedash allowing you to come to a complete stop in an unexpected way.
- Up smash - Headbutt = 9-23% damage
This up smash is nearly identical to all the variations of the Mario brothers' headbutt with an up and behind trajectory, ideal for setting up aerial combos with Luigi. You can also buffer a simple up smash in at the end of a wavedash which allows for an alternative vertical launcher to Luigi's common wavedash to down smash approach.
- Down smash - Sweep Kick = 9-23% damage
Also similar to Mario and Dr. Mario's down smash, Luigi kicks out twice in a breakdancing motion, first in front and then behind. It is Luigi's most frequently used smash in competitive play because of its upward trajectory and its high range and speed. It is his most reliable vertical launcher which provides a segue into Luigi's aerial game.
- Forward throw - 4-7% damage
- Back throw - 5-10% damage
- Up throw - 4-7% damage
- Down throw - 3-7% damage
Luigi's neutral aerial has the same knockback properties of most sex kicks; however, this sex kick is unique in that it sends enemies upwards. This neutral aerial has high priority which can be used as a combo breaker as well as a combo starter of your own, as it pops its victim upwards.
- Forward aerial - Chop - 6-12% damage
Luigi's chop has excellent horizontal knockback and is one of his primary KO'ing aerial attacks. It also has good knockback at low damage which lends itself well to Luigi's wavelanding ability, allowing you to string together multiple aerials over distance with proper spacing.
- Back aerial - Drop Kick - 6-11% damage
Racking up damage in the air is quick and easy with Luigi backward aerial kick which comes out fast enough that you can often get multiple kicks off in one jump. It is also an effective edgeguarding tool as ledgehopped back aerials can keep your opponent off the stage indefinitely if spaced correctly.
- Up aerial - Flip Kick - 7-13% damage
Due to Luigi's falling speed, his up aerial doesn't offer the same juggling properties from the ground as Mario's; however, it can be used effectively on opponents above you on platforms or for a vertical launcher to set up an aerial finish. Also, your opponent's trajectory upon being hit is dependent on which part of the flip kick you are hitting them with.
- Down aerial - Spin Kick - 8-16% damage
Luigi sticks his feet out with a little twist and knocks its target outwards horizontally, making it a valuable edgeguarding alternative to the back aerial that also offers a little more power. However, Luigi's down aerial also hits in a distinctly different way when making contact at his hip which will send your opponent straight down. This unique property of Luigi's down aerial is considered a meteor smash and therefore can be meteor canceled.
- Neutral B - Fireball - 6% damage
- Forward B - Green Missile - 9-26% damage
- Up B - Super Jump Punch - 1-25% damage
- Down B - Luigi Cyclone - up to 19% damage
- Grab Attack - 1-3%
- Dash Attack - 1-11%
- Ledge Attack (under 100%) - 8%
- Ledge Attack (over 100%) - 10%
- Ground Recovery Attack (facing up) - 6%
- Ground Recovery Attack (facing down) - 5%
- Taunt - 1%
- Spot Dodge
- Air Dodge
How to Unlock Luigi
Homerun Contest Strategies
Super Smash Bros. 64
How to Unlock Luigi
To unlock Luigi in Super Smash Bros., successfully complete complete all Bonus 1 Break the Targets levels with each of the eight original characters. You will then have to face Luigi with the character you used most recently in a 1-stock battle for the privilege of playing as him. If you do not beat Luigi, you can simply return to the Break the Targets menu and complete just one of the levels to have a chance at fighting him again.
Master Hand Strategy
The key to fighting the Master Hand as Luigi in SSB is making effective use of your shield as well as making effective use of not using your shield. The Master Hand's larger more elaborate attacks that send him off like a rocket can be shielded safely, however his hard jabs are too strong for the shield to withstand, at which point you want to draw back and maybe throw a fireball in his direction. Otherwise, it's all aerial attacks; spinning drill kicks into up+B can deal significant damage in a short period of time. With a little skill, you can defeat Master Hand by only using Up+B.