Unveiled at E3 2006, Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachū) is a character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In the E3 2006 trailer, Pikachu didn't show its Final Smash like Mario, Kirby, and Link did. Visually, Pikachu has barely changed at all from its Melee design, only being larger and touched up slightly. It has all of its moves from the first two games.
It is currently in the B Tier and holds 8th position overall. This makes Pikachu closer to its original Top Tier status in Super Smash Bros, where it was ranked first place, as opposed to its Middle Tier status in Melee, where it is ranked 10th place. It is currently the highest-ranked character in Brawl that has appeared in all three Super Smash Bros. games, and also the highest-ranked in the Pokémon series. Pikachu's fast damage-racking moves, powerful and short framed killing moves, very quick speed, great recovery and edge guarding, two chain grabs, and Brawl's new physics have helped it a lot; Pikachu can no longer be so easily combo'd, its grab range is no longer the shortest (Ganondorf now has the shortest grab range), its Thunder (Pokémon) is not as laggy, and it's gained various new tactics such as Quick Attack Canceling.
Pikachu's most salient feature, as with its appearances in previous Smash Brothers games, is its speed. Pikachu also has good specials, excellent smash attacks and tilts, the ability to crawl (although Pikachu retracts its tail over its body when it crawls backwards, which allows it to be hit by projectiles that normally would not hit it while crawling forward), moderate grabs, and is able to wall jump. Pikachu is a fairly small target, but this comes at the price of being the 4th lightest character (making it easily be knocked off-stage by a strong smash-attack) and having the smallest shield in the game (making both shield stabbing and shield breaking easier).
Pikachu's best game is played on the ground, at a medium range, where its smash attacks can be used to the fullest. Pikachu's up-smash is one of the fastest in the game, with decent power and knockback to boot, and is excellent for KOs while its down-smash holds for multiple hits and has a high priority, functioning as a panic button of sorts for close encounters, though it can be escaped from. The side smash is a good tool for edgeguarding and KOs off the side. All of its smashes, however, have poor range like most of its other moves.
As for specials, Skull Bash and Quick Attack are both good recovery techniques, although Skull Bash is easily punishable by edgeguarders, able to be stopped by projectiles (e.g. Waddle Dee Throw), and requires charging time. Quick Attack also opens options for mindgames, by confusing opponents about Pikachu's actions. The most common form of this is QAC (Quick Attack Cancel), allowing Pikachu use any special or aerial move after. Thunder is Pikachu's most well known move. Opponents will expect it of you; because of that, watch out for characters who have reflectors or reflect. Thunder is still one of Pikachu's best kill moves, killing reliably at 100% or even lower. Thunder Jolt is Pikachu's neutral Special, and is a useful move to keep most opponents at bay, as well as forcing some characters to approach. Thunder Jolt is a ground-hugging projectile, meaning opponents can't escape it by ducking or crawling. Thunder Jolt's properties enable it to be useful for approaching.
Pikachu's aerials are crucial to learn. Fair is weak in damage but can carry momentum through, granting it potential in combos; whereas Nair is stronger, but negates nearly all momentum. Uair is extremely weak, but due to its low knockback and quickness it can be used to air juggle the opponent, stage-spike an opponent, or to punish an opponent closing in from above. Bair will act as a safe attack to punish the opponent as it hits multiple times and throws the opponent backwards upon the last hit. If it makes contact with the ground there will be heavy move lag. Dair has decent knockback, though it is laggy if it connects with the ground. However, all of the Down aerial's lag can be avoided if it is used at the very start of a short hop.
Pikachu's grabs are possible to chain-grab with, in certain situations. Down and Forward throws are mostly used for this, while back throws easily set up the opponent to be edgeguarded. Up throws and up tilts can combine into a Thunder on certain characters at high percentages.
Other tips for Pikachu are to maintain good DI and Tech skills, as well as good dodging skills. Pikachu's speed makes it imperative to keep moving and to always seek the low ground on stages with platforms.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
Pikachu is considered to have been buffed in Brawl, though it has not changed much. Pikachu's greatest buff is perhaps the acquisitions of two chain throws with its forward and down throws. The former being a chain throw that affects a majority of the characters to a decent degree. The latter is a chain throw that affects only a minority of the characters, but can chain throw these characters to a more severe degree than the forward throw. Pikachu's aerial game was generally buffed, with it gaining an aerial KO move (which it lacked in Melee) with a stronger nair along with a more useful fair and bair. Its uair semi-spike was weakened and is more difficult to land, but the uair is now better at juggling. Thunder has less ending lag and stronger knockback, which makes it a better and less punishable vertical finisher in Brawl. Its down smash was also buffed, with it being more difficult for the opponent to escape from as well as the final hit producing much stronger vertical knockback, making it much better at KOing. On the downside, Pikachu's up smash was significantly weakened, which went from being the strongest up smash to the 25th strongest. Pikachu's forward smash was weakened as well, with it having a weaker sweetspot and its sourspot was weakened significantly, weakening its overall KO power and reliability. Despite these nerfs, both smashes are still powerful and reliable KO moves. Its up smash is still considered a great up smash due to its very fast start-up and strong vertical knockback. While Pikachu was not buffed significantly, Pikachu benefited greatly from Brawl's physics changes. Most notably, Pikachu is no longer easily combo'd or as vulnerable to chain throws, has noticeably better survivability, and the slower falling speeds improved Thunder's KOing capacity. Other additions include the ability to wall jump, which Pichu previously owned instead, and the ability to crawl.
Graphically, Pikachu's proportions have been altered slightly, and its tail now has thickness. Its coloring has also been slightly softened. Pikachu has a few new sounds, which sound slightly "bouncy".
- Neutral Attack - Quick headbutts. Can be held, or just pressed. 2% damage each hit. It may also cause tripping and it has a disjointed, invisible hitbox like Snake's f-tilt and u-tilt. Best used against an opponent when they are next to a wall to rack up very high damage.
- Dash Attack - Bashes target with its head like a mini Skull Bash. Laggy in completion, easily shield grabbed. 7% damage.
- Strong Side - Sticks both feet forward. Really short range. 9% damage. Nicknamed "Mega Kick".
- Strong Up - Swings tail in an arc above itself, good for juggling fast fallers. 7% damage
- Strong Down - Does a quick, low tail whip. Can attack twice, first tripping and then knocking away if you tap fast enough. 7% damage.
- Side Smash - Pikachu charges bolt of electricity in front of it, causing a lot of knockback when released. If Pikachu uses or charges its side smash with a battering item, it will have a straight face. If it does so with a Smash Ball, its face takes on an evil expression. The further away Pikachu's opponent is, the less damage it does. Does 20% uncharged, but 28% charged. Has some starting lag and minimal ending lag.
- Up Smash - Flips very fast, attacking with its tail. 13% uncharged, 19% charged. Great move to use after Down Throw. Powerful vertical killer. A strategy involves using this to combo to Thunderspike to get a Star KO.
- Down Smash - Spins on the floor and releases electricity. 15% uncharged, 21% charged. Good move for racking up damage, and a reliable finisher. If the opponent flies directly up after a Down Smash, Thunder can quickly be used for a reliable Star KO. Almost no starting lag and some ending lag. An amazing panic option move for spacing. Helps with Stale Move Negation.
- Ledge attack- Does a somersault that hurts opponents. 8% damage.
- Over 100% ledge attack- Kicks up then whacks opponents with its tail. 10% damage.
- Floor attack- Does a sweeper kick. 10% damage.
- Trip attack- Does a sweeper kick with its tail. 5% damage.
- Neutral aerial - Spins in a ball. Decent knockback and power. Still has hitboxes while on the ground, decent priority. kills most characters at 130% 12% damage. Pikachu's best aerial KO move.
- Forward aerial - An electric drill-like move forward. Lags on the ground but still sets up for a grab or down smash. 11% if all 5 hits make contact last hit has minimal knockback.
- Back aerial - Spins like a disc and hits multiple times. Lags on the ground. 11% damage if all hits connect. Good for chasing your opponent's DI. Very high aerial lag. Nicknamed "Pikacopter".
- Up aerial - Swings tail while flipping forward. Very weak attack. Certain tail frames will send the opponent away at an angle- good for gimping at high percentages. 6% damage. Best used to push opponents off in aerial combat and for juggling an airborne opponent. Has almost no KOing potential.
- Down aerial - An electric drill-like move downward. 12% damage. Lags on contact with the ground but when it does fleeting shockwaves are generated with hitboxes on both sides of Pikachu. It can be lag canceled if performed while rising. Has horizontal knockback. Cannot spike.
Grabs & Throws
- Pummel - Shocks opponent. Fairly quick. 1-2% per hit. Best if used rhythmically because of slight afterlag.
- Back Throw - Tumbles with opponent back and throws them back. 9% damage.
- Forward Throw - Places opponent on back and electrocutes them forward. Can chain throw almost all characters. 10% damage. Good for countering Stale Move Negation because it hits multiple times.
- Up Throw - Headbutts opponent upward. Can combo with Thunder at high percentages. 10% damage.
- Down Throw - Slams on top of opponent. Can chain throw certain characters. Has a 0-death on Fox. 10% if fresh, 8% after 4th use.
|Pikachu's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||Thunder Jolt|
|Side Special||—||Skull Bash|
|Up Special||Quick Attack|
|Final Smash||—||Volt Tackle|
- Up: Pikachu creates rings of electricity around it, saying "Piiiiiii!"
- Down: Pikachu rolls on its back and says "Pikaaaa!".
- Side: Turns to the camera, waving both paws and says "Pika, Pika!" (same as Melee)
In competitive play
Role In The Subspace Emissary
Pikachu is first seen when Samus, in her Zero Suit enters a lab on the Isle of the Ancients. She finds that Pikachu is having its electric energy drained by a device, and uses her Plasma Whip to break the glass encasing Pikachu. With their common goal of revenge on the Subspace Army, they infiltrate the Research Facility to find Samus' Power Suit.
After going through the first area of the Research Facility, Zero Suit Samus and Pikachu discover a monitor room, and learn the location of Samus' Power Suit.
They then traverse another section of the Research Facility. They cross a bridge to reach the Power Suit. When Samus approaches the Suit, she and Pikachu are ambushed by two Shadow Bug clones of her Power Suit. After defeating them, Samus regains her Power Suit, and after defeating a small R.O.B. Squad, travel through the last area of the Facility. Later, the duo almost exit the Research Facility, but are then confronted by Ridley, who brutally damages Samus by dragging her across the wall. Pikachu uses Thunder (Pokémon) on Ridley to stop him. Samus falls back down onto the platform, her Power Suit damaged, but working, while Ridley, enraged by Pikachu's electric shock, roars at them. The two then fight and defeat Ridley. After defeating Ridley, Pikachu and Samus leave the facility and notice a pair of R.O.B.s carrying a Subspace Bomb. They prepare to enter the Subspace Bomb Factory.
They infiltrate the Ancient Minister's base, and eventually enter a large room, with him, an army of R.O.B.s, and a great number of Subspace Bombs on racks behind them. They prepare to fight him but pause, noticing that Ancient Minister is looking down as if he's sad.
As they stare at his sorrowing, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon and Olimar break into the same room. DK smashes the doors open with his fists, and the four barge into the room. They also want to attack the Ancient Minister, but a hologram of Ganondorf appears. He commands the R.O.B. Squad to activate the remaining Subspace Bombs. The Ancient Minister tries to stop the Squad as their leader, but Ganondorf forces them to mindlessly attack the Ancient Minister using a reprogramming device. As the Ancient Minister sulks in flames, the brainwashed R.O.B. squad starts to take the Subspace Bombs off the racks. Ganondorf laughs at the Ancient Minister's despair, and sends the Subspace Army to distract the fighters. Auroros fly towards the group, but the Ancient Minister fires energy beams at them before they get near the fighters. The Ancient Minister reveals itself to be a R.O.B. himself, the lead R.O.B, and joins the five other heroes in fighting the Subspace Army. After they defeat the Subspace Army, the heroes attempt to detach the R.O.B. squad from the Subspace Bombs. Captain Falcon throws the R.O.B.s, Samus uses her Grapple Beam, while Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong use sheer force. Nothing detaches the R.O.B.s from the Subspace Bomb. The lead R.O.B. attempts to get them to willingly detach, and two members of the Squad respond, apparently unable to detach themselves. The R.O.B. looks down in despair, and Captain Falcon calls his Falcon Flyer so they can escape. After descending through the Subspace Bomb factory escape tunnel, full of members of the Subspace Army, they escape on the Falcon Flyer. Meta Ridley chases them down with the intent of revenge on Samus and Pikachu. They fight his mechanically enhanced form on top of the Flyer, and defeat it. Pikachu and the rest of the group then join the ground heroes and Halberd Battleship heroes, and help them out throughout the rest of the adventure.
Unfortunately, when these characters reach Subspace, Tabuu turns everybody, including Pikachu, into trophies using the terrible Off Waves. However, thanks to the efforts of King Dedede, Luigi and Ness,the characters are revived, Pikachu included. Once they regroup with the trophies that Kirby and the others revived, they set off to enter The Great Maze. When they approach Tabuu, Sonic appears and saves them from his Off Waves. They then finally defeat Tabuu, and returned the Subspace Bomb-ed portions of the World of Trophies back to their original places, except the Isle of the Ancients, which Pikachu and the rest look on at in triumph.
Pikachu (Electric Attack +41)
- "Pika Pika Pikachu!"
- Pikachu's goggle costume and one of its taunts were features of Pichu in Melee. In addition, in the Pokémon series, Volt Tackle (Pikachu's Final Smash) can only be learned by a Pichu that was bred from a Pikachu holding a light ball. These have led to theories that the Pikachu in Brawl is the evolved Pichu from Melee.
- All of Pikachu's alternate costumes feature a similar trait to the protagonists from the First to Third Generation(Red, Blue(1)Gold, Silver and Crystal(2), Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald(3).) The cap being Red's, band being Brendan's, and goggles being Gold's. Alternatively, as mentioned beforehand, it is possible that they are the same goggles as Pichu's from Melee.
- Pikachu's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!.
- Pikachu Character Guide at SWF
- Pikachu's hitbox size of each of its moves
- Pikachu's Moves - History Behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl, by CrappyCaptureDevice