Unveiled at E3 2006, Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachū) is a character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In the E3 2006, 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 A Tier and holds 9th position overall, making it much closer to its original Top Tier status in Super Smash Bros, where it was ranked first place; as opposed to its Low Tier status in Melee, where it is ranked sixteenth place. It is currently the highest tier character that has appeared in all three Super Smash Bros. games. Pikachu's decent killing power, quick overall speed, good recovery and edge guarding, good chain grab, 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, its Thunder is not as laggy, and it's gained various new tactics such as Quick Attack Cancel.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
Pikachu has not changed much between SSBM and SSBB. The biggest addition is the ability to wall jump, which Pichu previously owned instead. Another big change is its down smash, which is now much like Peach's down smash from Melee in that has high horizontal knockback and can easily be spammed. On the flip side, its up smash has been weakened a bit.
Graphically, Pikachu's proportions have been altered slightly, and its tail now has thickness. Its colouring has also been slightly softened. Pikachu has a few new sounds, which sound slightly "bouncy".
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 easy).
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 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. 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, because if 2 or more characters reflect your Thunder it will cause you to instantly jump to 100-500% killing you instantly if you're under Thunder, but the move is still one of Pikachu's best kill moves, killing reliably at 100%. Thunder Jolt is Pikachu's neutral Special, and is a useful move to keep most opponents at bay, as well as forcing them in the air. Thunder Jolt is a ground-hugging projectile, meaning opponents can't escape it by ducking or crawling.
Pikachu's aerials are its weakest area. Fair is weak in damage but can carry momentum through; whereas Nair is slightly stronger, but negates all momentum, and causes Pikachu to fall during the move. Uair is extremely weak, but can be used as a semi-spike. Dair and Bair are laggy when they hit the ground, but all of the Down aerial's lag can be avoided if it is used at the 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 to an edgeguarding chance. Up throws and up tilts can combine into a Thunder on certain characters.
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 high ground on stages with platforms.
- 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.
- Dash Attack - Bashes target with its head. Laggy in completion. 7% damage
- Strong Side - Sticks both feet forward. 9% damage
- Strong Up - Swings tail in an arc above itself. 7% damage
- Strong Down - Does a quick, low tail whip. Can attack twice first tripping and then knocking away if you press it 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.
- Up Smash - Flips very fast, attacking with its tail. 13% uncharged, 19% charged. Great move to use after Down Throw.
- 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.
- 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. 12% damage
- Forward aerial - An electric drill-like move forward. Lags on the ground. 8% if all 4 hits make contact.
- Back aerial - Spins like a disc and hits multiple times. Lags on the ground. 11% damage if all hits connect. Good for chasing your opponents DI, very good priority.
- Up aerial - Swings tail while flipping forward. Very weak attack. Certain tail frames send opponent away at an angle. 6% damage
- Down aerial - An electric drill-like move downward. Has hitboxes while on the ground. 12% damage. Lags on contact with ground, can be lag canceled if done while rising.
Grabs & Throws
- Pummel - Shocks opponent. Fairly quick.
- Back Throw - Tumbles with opponent back and throws them back.
- Forward Throw - Places opponent on back and electrocutes them forward. Can chain throw almost all characters.
- Up Throw - Headbutts opponent upward. Can combo with Thunder.
- Down Throw - Slams on top of opponent. Can chain throw certain characters. Has a 0-death on Fox.
Up: Pikachu creates rings of electricity around him, saying "Piiiiiii!"
Down: Pikachu rolls on its back and says "Pikaaaahh!".
Side: Turns to the camera, waving both paws and says "Pika, Pika!" (updated version of taunt from SSB and 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 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 room 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 are revived and in turn revive him. They save most of the trophies, including Pikachu. 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.
- "Pika Pika Pikachu!"
- Pikachu's Wall Jump, Goggle costume and one of its taunts were features of Pichu in Melee. In addition, Pikachu in the Pokémon series can only know Volt Tackle if they learned the move as a Pichu. These coincidences have led to theories that the Pikachu in Brawl is the evolved Pichu from Melee.
- Pikachu could be male due to the fact that in the Generation IV Pokemon games, male Pikachu do not have dents in their tails, but it could be female because this gender difference does not apply to Pikachu outside of Generation IV.
- Pikachu holds the world record for Co-op Target Smash!! Level 3 with Fox (completed in 4.58 seconds), and Level 4 with Yoshi (completed in 4.81 seconds).
- When Pikachu gets a Dragoon or a Warpstar, Pikachu rides it as if it were surfing. This comes from certain Pikachus given away at events and/or for finishing certain Pokémon games, knowing the move Surf, which it usually could not learn; in the 3D Pokémon games, Pikachu rides a surfboard to use the move. (This in turn may come from the Pokémon anime.)
- When Pikachu's Thunder is used in mid-air, it won't go through a falling block, yet when used on the ground it will.
- Interestingly, in the games, Pokémon were only allowed Four Special moves, but in Brawl, Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Lucario all have five special moves (including Final Smashes), thus breaking the limit of special moves, despite Jigglypuff's and Lucario's Final Smashes, and Pikachu's standard special, not being actual moves from the game.
- If Pikachu is standing at the end of a main platform (e.g. Final Destination) with its back to the edge, if its shield breaks, hold the opposite direction Pikachu is facing on the control stick; Pikachu grabs the ledge and cancels the dizzyness.
- Like all characters, Pikachu's eyes glow when it has a Smash Ball. However, if it has a Smash Ball and its costume color is red, its eyes become red because of the color tint of its model (and even then, the color of its eyes in its default costume are still red). This also happens with Sonic to a lesser extent.
- If Pikachu uses or charges its forward smash with a battering item, it will have a normal face. If it does so with a Smash Ball, its face takes on an evil expression.
- Thunder Jolt is not actually a move in the Pokemon game series, yet Pikachu uses it in the Super Smash Bros. series and atleast once in the original anime