Super Smash Bros 3DS Best New Characters: The Top 4 Fresh Challengers In The Series' First Handheld Edition

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Oct 13, 2014 04:02 PM EDT

Super Smash Bros has been in the hands of 3DS owners for just over a week now, with millions around the world picking up the first handheld edition of the fighting game.

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Plenty of new fighters have entered the fray this year--the series' largest roster yet consists of 49 combatants. The varied lineup offers players a range of playing styles, and the newcomers are some of the most intriguing inclusions. We've compiled a list of the four best new characters, a combination of community research and consensus with our opinion, but will avoid ranking them for the time being. It's still very early in the game's life cycle, and movesets and strategies are still being examined.

Little Mac

The Punch-Out!! boxer has proven to be the most popular new character off the bat, to the point where members of the community have complained about the amount of players using the character online. Little Mac is an incredibly effective ground fighter, with an almost unfair combination of speed and power. He relies on his smash attacks and his powerful neutral B charged punch, but is a formidable match for any character, especially if he can stay on the defensive.

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Little Mac has a rather large downside to make up for his potency, however: his aerial ability is shockingly poor. His air attacks lack much power or knockback, but it's really his recovery that will really let you down. Getting knocked any decent way off the stage is likely a death sentence, as Little Mac can't jump or propel himself very far at all. This keeps him balanced as a whole, but many players will be frustrated at his inability to recover. Still, it's obviously not stopping most people--his popularity online ensures that you'll be seeing plenty of him.


The new Pokemon is a lot of fun to play as, and happens to be quite good. He's agile, quick, and has effective smash attacks (particularly the his up smash). His shuriken projectile is useful for pestering or unsettling foes, and can be charged to add a dragging knockback. Like many characters, his down B is a counter, keeping opponents honest when they would otherwise rush in. He's pretty light, meaning he won't take too much damage before he's sent flying, but like any frail character, that's something you'll just have to balance with his positives. He's one of, if not my favorite new character at the moment, but there's a lot of the game's competitive side yet to be examined. For more casual players less concerned with that aspect of the series, Greninja is entertaining, has a varied moveset, and should be able to compete with any character.


The Fire Emblem character is an interesting one, and his style may put off a portion of the player base. He has a variety of fire and thunder spells, the latter of which can be charged to a very powerful state, and a health-stealing down special. It can be difficult to catch enemies in the Nosferatu HP siphon ability, but it will deal damage to them while reducing your own. His basic attacks and run speed aren't particularly fast, but his projectiles should help keep enemies at bay.

Robin's short sword and tome, however, have durability limits: he'll drop them for a limited time after a certain number of uses. This can leave you less capable while they cool down, and is an inevitability you'll have to plan for if you want to use Robin. Attempting a spell while Robin's tome is in cooldown will lead to nothing but a puff of smoke, but your regular attacks remain unchanged. Robin could go either way in terms of which character tier he falls into--he has weaknesses, but further experimentation of strategies and combos might uncover a powerful fighter.

Rosalina & Luma

The new two-in-one character is maybe the most intriguing on the roster, and perhaps the most surprising on this list. I didn't consider playing with the two much, but the unique combination is very appealing. Luma can be launched as a charged projectile and fire a spray of stars, but the most useful aspect of the sidekick character is the fact that it will mimic your inputs. Much like the Ice Climbers, Luma will attack or smash when you do, but can do so even if Rosalina is experiencing hitstun. That means if she's caught in a combo, grab, or is dazed, Luma will still receive and carry out your command--potentially freeing you or helping you avoid a crushing blow.

Damage done to Luma does not count toward your percentage counter, though it can be KO'd (and will respawn after a short cooldown). Unlike the Ice Climbers, Luma does not have to remain right by your side--launching it forward will leave it apart from you (B can recall it), and it will continue to carry out attack inputs across the stage. This has a variety of uses, and can keep Rosalina away from the damage while still letting you get involved. Advanced strategies will no doubt develop on how to best make use of Luma, but it's already a pretty powerful (and fun) combination.

Honorable Mentions

Lucina is a great character, but she's also almost an exact clone of Marth. It's because of this that she doesn't make the list, even though she will almost certainly be used competitively going forward. Shulk is also fun to use and has potential, but he's a bit slow and his Monato arts (changing his style to be harder to kill, do more damage, etc) take a lot of concentration and can just as easily get you killed. Bowser Jr is interesting, too, and could be a legitimately good character--time will tell us where each of these eventually stand. Everyone will find a character that suits their own style and no doubt enjoy the game, but those on this list seem to be the most well-balanced and powerful, and will likely be fixtures on the competitive scene moving forward. For more advanced reading and continuing analysis on every character, visit the Smash Boards

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