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Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Meta Knight

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Meta Knight

SSBB-Metaknight Face.jpg

Meta Knight is a major character in the Kirby series appearing in most of the games, manga, as well as the anime. He is the leader of an army of soldiers known as the Meta-Knights, and captains a large airship called Battleship Halberd which may accompany him into the heat of battle.

In a nutshell

Meta Knight is famed for being at the top of the Brawl tier list (S Tier) due to the very quick speed of his attacks, having many attacks with transcending priority, five mid-air jumps and beign able to glide, four recovery moves that enable him to have a long, safe, and unpredictable recovery, effective walls of pain, KO moves that are both agile and reliable, and incredible matchups; Meta Knight has no overall disadvantageous matchups (only Pikachu, Fox and Falco have shared this trait), and only three characters (Fox, Falco, Pikachu, and Diddy Kong) have even matchups with him. This does not mean he has no disadvantages, however. Meta Knight is still rather light, which can impair his ability to survive at High.png percentages, especially against characters such as Snake. In additions, he can fall victim to some chaingrabs, due to his poor airspeed; notably, Marth's grab release combos can cause an inescapable grab release to dair death combo. His lack of projectiles make him susceptible to campy strategys like the ones used by Olimar and Falco.

Tournament Legality
Meta Knight's legality has been a hotly debated topic for the past few years due to his performance. Many claimed that Meta Knight has many advantages, and the many players that use him will causes a stagnation in the metagame of other characters. As of the Unity Ruleset 2.0, Meta Knight is deemed banned by the URC getting 14 out of 17 votes supporting the decision and 1 vote abstaining with no votes against it. The ban was active since January 9 of 2012. Meta Knight is still legal in tournaments held outside the US and Canada, which is outside the scope of the Ruleset. As April 16 of 2012, the URC disbanded so Meta Knight is no longer banned.

Specific Character Information

  • Weight: 79 (35th)
  • Falling Speed: 19th
  • Gravity: 0.0956 (9th)
  • Air Speed: 81 (36th)
    • Gliding Speed is much faster
  • Dash Speed: 6th
  • Walk Speed: 10th

Character Colors

Meta Knight colors.jpg

Standard Attack Analysis

Ground attacks


  • Jab - When held, Meta Knight yells and executes a lightning-fast series of slashes that also attack enemies behind him. Does 10% damage when just tapping the attack button. Start-up of 7 frames. Can set-up a down-smash if buffered right.
  • Dash attack - Does a running kick. His only attack (other than all of his throws, excluding the back throw) that does not use his sword. When MK attacks with his foot, it does 6%. When the body hits it does 8% damage. Hits on frame 5-11.
  • Forward tilt - Slashes twice in front of him, then once upwards. Only pressing the attack button once will cause Meta Knight to perform only the first hit; press it twice more to slash the second and third times. 1st slash does 4% damage, second slash does 3% and the last does 5%, inflicting 12% total. Start-up of 3 frames. At higher percentages, its difficult (if not impossible) to connect all three hits since the first hit has enough knockback scaling to prevent the other hits connect.
  • Up tilt - Stabs upward. Inflicts 10%. Decent vertical knockback, and in some cases at higher percentages, makes up for his up smash's weak vertical knockback, although it must sweetspoted to KO. Hitbox out on frame 8. Sweetspot is in the tip of the sword.
  • Down tilt - Thrusts his sword across the ground. Good for tripping (which sets up a grab or other follow-up), deceptive range (has more range then Marth´s down tilt, though only by a few pixels), very fast (start-up is 3 frames only), and it can be used to Pseudo Crawl. Does usually 4% to 6% damage.


  • Forward smash - Pulls his sword back for a second, then slashes in front of him. Has below average knockback, but its his strongest move in terms of knockback. This is Meta Knight's only slow attack, although that's only the start-up which is 24 frames, it has a very fast charge release and has very little ending lag, less cooldown than his down smash. Does 15-21%.
  • Up smash - Slashes above him three times. Like Link's up smash, but much faster, less range and less damage/knockback. Does 4% each slash, in total 12% (9% damage uncharged). Low knockback, but can KO at high percentages. First slash has a start-up of 8 frames, the second slash hits on frame 12 and the final slash hits on frame 17.
  • Down smash - Slashes in front of him, then behind. Arguably his best kill move due to its extremely fast speed. One of the non-dragging down smashes that second hit attack has higher knockback than first hit. Front slash does 12-15%, and back slash does 15-18%. First hit on frame 5-6, second hit on frame 10-11. Does more damage and knockback if hit with the tip of the sword.


  • Ledge attack - Slashes with blade. 8% damage.
  • >100% ledge attack - Gets up slowly, then slashes with blade. 10% damage.
  • Stand up attack - Slashes on either side of himself. 6%, both slashes.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral air - Slashes while spinning in a circle. Similar to Pikachu's neutral aerial. Surprisingly powerful. Can hit twice for a total of 19% damage. Good Out-of-Shield option because of its speed (frame 3) and power.
  • Forward air - Slashes in front of him three times. Can perform a wall of pain variation. First slash does 3%, second does 3%, and last does 4% damage. Altogether inflicts 10%. Start-up of 6 frames.
  • Back air - Like his fair, but behind him and more slowly. To compensate for the slower slashes, this move has slightly more knockback. However, it still has almost no start-up lag (7 frames, only slower than his fair by one frame) and the first two hits while landing set-ups a down smash on many characters. First slash does 3%, second does 3%, and the last does 4%. Altogether does 10% damage.
  • Up air - Slashes above him very quickly, has decent knockback. Shortest ending lag aerial in the game and one of the fastest moves in the game (frame 2). Great for juggling opponents into the upper blast line. Does 6% damage. If tap jump is set to "on", Meta Knight will rise up with each slash. The distance varies depending on how many of Meta Knight's jumps remain. It chained itself at low percentages.
  • Down air - Slashes below him very quickly. Sends the opponent at a horizontal trajectory and is quite deadly offstage, especially against opponents with poor horizontal recovery. Does 7-9% damage. Hits on frame 4.
  • Glide Attack - Slashes in front of himself. A fairly powerful move with great vertical knockback. Inflicts 12% damage. Hits on frame 5.

Grabs & Throws

  • Pummel - Jabs opponents with his wings' claws. A slow pummel. Does 3%.
  • Forward throw - Kicks the opponent in front of him. A very fast throw. Does 8-10% damage.
  • Back throw - Teleports and slashes the opponent behind him. 10% damage and good knockback. Good for putting opponents off-stage.
  • Up throw - Like Kirby's: jumps into the air holding his foe, and then crashes down. The differences are that this throw doesn't create an explosion, like Kirby's, and has less launch power. Can KO at very high percentages. 12%-13% damage.
  • Down throw - Stomps on opponent multiple times, then ends by slamming down on him/her. It is much like Kirby's down throw, except its slower and does horizontal knockback. Does 12% damage. Depending on the opponent's DI, it can be followed by other attacks, even another grab at low-percentages on fast-fallers.

Special Attack Analysis

  • Neutral: Mach Tornado - Meta Knight covers himself in a tornado and deals from 1% to 19% and the last hit 3%, dealing max 22% damage. The more you press B the longer Tornado say out and the more priority you gain. The last hit has decent knockback and can KO at high percents or near the upper blast line. It eats most projectiles and has a lot of priority.
  • Side: Drill Rush - This move deals 1%-10% damage. Is main purpose and most effective use is for recovery.
  • Up: Shuttle Loop - Deals 6% damage, or 9% if sweetspotted. Probably MK's best kill move, has high knockback if sweetspotted. Is probably the best anti-air, because it has invincibility frames if done on the ground and good range. When this move finishes it automatically initiates a glide.
  • Down: Dimensional Cape - Meta Knight turns invisible and reappears in the direction you input. Can be cancelled by holding B to deal an attack that does 14% damage, but it it very hard to hit and if it whiffs it leaves open to punishment, so it's rarely used in offense. There's a glitch to stay invisible infinitely but is forbidden in tournament play.

Basic Strategies

Advanced Strategies


Serious Advantage Match-ups

  • Zelda
  • Ganondorf
  • Samus
  • Rob
  • Mario
  • Pokémon Trainer
  • Peach
  • Luigi
  • Link
  • Jigglypuff
  • Ike
  • Captain Falcon
  • Donkey Kong
  • Bowser

Advantage Match-ups

  • Yoshi
  • Wario
  • Toon Link
  • Sonic
  • Sheik
  • Pit
  • Ness
  • Lucas
  • Lucario
  • Kirby
  • Mr. Game & Watch
  • King Dedede
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Wolf
  • Snake
  • Ice Climbers
  • Olimar
  • Marth

Fair Match-ups

  • Fox
  • Falco
  • Diddy Kong
  • Pikachu
  • Meta Knight

Disadvantage Match-ups

Meta Knight has no match-ups where he is at a disadvantage

Serious Disadvantage Match-ups

Meta Knight has no match-ups where he is at a serious disadvantage