Meta Knight
Series Kirby icon1
Final Smash Galaxia Darkness
Appearances Super Smash Bros Brawl, Crusade
Tier A+ (10)


Meta Knight (メタナイト, Meta Naito) is a mysterious swordsman who hides his face in a metallic mask. Debuting as a boss in Kirby's Adventure for NES, he often has an unpredictable relationship with Kirby that can range from being valuable allies to competitive rivals. In the Kirby games, Meta Knight commands an army of soldiers appropriately named the "Meta-Knights", and pilots a giant airship called the "Battleship Halberd". Meta Knight is known for following a code of honor. As a result of this, he almost always offers Kirby a sword before combat. Most recently, he has become a playable character in Kirby's Return to Dream Land for the Nintendo Wii.

Changes from Brawl to Crusade

  • Meta Knight is overall a lot smaller in comparison to other characters.
  • Meta Knight has faster falling speed.
  • Jab has longer range.
  • First hit of forward tilt has shorter range and slightly more ending lag.
  • Up tilt no longer has a hitbox behind Meta Knight.
  • Down tilt has lost speed and range.
  • Dash attack has lost range and the knockback has changed direction so it no longer reliably comboes into a reverse neutral air.
  • Neutral air now does four hits instead of two, and has gained range.
  • Forward air has gained range and has more landing lag.
  • Back air has more landing lag.
  • Up air is slower.
  • Down air is slower and has more landing lag.
  • Grab has lost range.
  • Forward throw now has almost completely vertical knockback, as opposed to the diagonal knockback from Brawl.
  • Down throw is now a reliable chaingrab and combo move.
  • Down smash has lost a lot of range.
  • Mach Tornado has drastically lost speed and priority, making it nearly useless.
  • Drill Rush has gained priority and range, as well as distance.
  • Shuttle Loop has lost knockback.
  • Dimensional Cape has gained horizontal distance.
  • Glide attacks now have noticeable landing lag.
  • Gliding into the ground has no lag whatsoever.
  • Glide attacks can be used continuously without going helpless, unless the glide was initiated via Shuttle Loop.


Meta Knight is ranked 10th in the tier list due to the very high speed of his attacks (though they are a bit slower than they were in Brawl), having high priority in a number of his attacks, four recovery moves that grant him arguably one of the best recoveries in the game, effective walls of pain, KO moves that are both agile and reliable, and great matchups. This does not mean he has no disadvantages, however. Meta Knight is a light character, meaning he is knocked out fairly easily, especially against characters with many high-power attacks such as Snake and Knuckles. Meta Knight has notably less range in his attacks, particularly in his down tilt and down smash, two of his core moves from Brawl. His Mach Tornado has now become a near-useless move with terrible movement and very limited damage-racking capabilities. As a result of this, he now relies mostly on gliding for dealing with projectiles.

Meta Knight is a small character, with disjoints that are large compared to his body but only have average range compared to other characters. He is still very difficult to punish due to the lack of lag of all types on many of his attacks. He has quite a fast dash speed, but his lateral air speed is one of the worst in the game, and in many situations gliding is a far better alternative. He has four midair jumps and a glide, courtesy of his bat-like wings, which aid him greatly in his recovery, approach and air game. Whereas he fell relatively slowly in Brawl, his falling speed has become quite fast; for this reason, it is now almost always necessary to glide when recovering a distance away from the stage. Meta Knight's recovery is still one of the best in the game, as gliding helps cover any horizontal distance lost, and the rest can be made up for with his multiple jumps and unpredictable recovery moves. His side special, Drill Rush, usually has the most distance (especially vertically), but it has a predictable trajectory. His up special, Shuttle Loop, is difficult to hit out of given its speed, while also having a decent disjoint, but it tends to lack distance and can be risky; being hit out of Shuttle Loop necessitates a glide that will leave Meta Knight helpess when cancelled. His down special, Dimensional Cape, has very little vertical distance, but some noticeable horizontal distance. As a teleportation move, it is very helpful when avoiding spikes and other aerial edgeguarding moves, but beware that if predicted it leaves Meta Knight very vulnerable. His Mach Tornado can also be used for recovery, but given its slow speed and lack of priority compared to in brawl it is not recommended. Switch places on the stage, and Meta Knight is still very formidable, as he can edgeguard efficiently and without risk by making use of his down air and his recovering ability. His down air has decent knockback and has a low, horizontal knockback angle that can push opponents with weaker recoveries past the point of no return. His forward air can also be used wall-of-pain-style as an edgeguarding tool, although it should be used at the peak of a jump to ensure the final hit connects. Meta Knight is fearsome onstage as a semi-offensive up close fighter, making use of his fast attack speed and disjoints. His combo potential isn't particularly amazing, and mostly revolve around his down throw and up air; at low percentages, an up air can be stringed with multiple jumps for almost 30% damage at once, while a down throw will combo into a forward air nicely for 21% damage. At 0% damage, a down throw combos into a forward tilt and then a string of up airs for a guaranteed combo of over 50% damage, although this is difficult to perform perfectly and only works on about half of the characters. For killing, Meta Knight relies on his down smash and shuttle loop, although both have their limitations. Down smash is incredibly quick and packs a decent punch, but the range, particularly on the first hit, is abysmal. Shuttle Loop is quite weak for a killing move, a grounded one not killing Mario on Final Destination until about 140%.


  • vs. Goku: 45-55 -- Goku's projectiles pose very little of a problem, as Meta Knight can easily glide over them. However, even at close range Meta Knight struggles against Goku, as the latter has much longer range than Meta Knight and about as quick attack speed. As a result, the matchup onstage is heavily favoured toward Goku. However, at the edge Meta Knight has the clear advantage, because Meta Knight can easily gimp Goku with his down air or even onstage with his down smash. On the other hand, neither of Goku's main gimping options (Kamehameha, up air) work particularly well on Meta Knight due to the versatility of his recovery; he can glide over Kamehameha, and then jump several times to avoid up air.
  • vs. Mr. Game & Watch: 45-55 -- G&W outranges Meta Knight with almost all of his attacks, but Meta Knight has the attack speed to take advantage of whiffed attacks and punish G&W, making them rather evenly matched at close range. At the edge, Meta Knight actually has some difficulty gimping G&W due to the large hitboxes on the latter's recovery move; on the other hand, G&W finds it just as hard to edgeguard Meta Knight.
  • vs. Fox: 50-50 -- The two are very evenly matched in almost every area. Fox's blaster allows him to attack from a distance, but Meta Knight has much better aerial range and is therefore more versatile in the air; Meta Knight's ability to easily get an opponent into the air accentuates this. Fox's finishers are more powerful and easier to hit with. At the edge, they are pretty much equal, as Fox's down air hits through Meta Knight's recovery moves, while Meta Knight can easily down air Fox's Fire Fox to oblivion too. Fox's down air infinite unfortunately doesn't work on Meta Knight due to the latter's small size and very fast combo breaker, Shuttle Loop.
  • vs. Meta Knight: M
  • vs. Gooey: 40-60 -- Gooey's projectile poses problems for Meta Knight as Gooey can jump to prevent him from simply gliding over them, and he has no attacks he can use to cancel them. At close range, Meta Knight holds the upper hand with his much faster attack speed, but Gooey is capable of keeping Meta Knight at bay with his disjoints, which again Meta Knight has no counter to. Meta Knight also has difficulty edgeguarding Gooey, as Gooey's recovery move is invincible and cannot be down air'd. Gooey has similar difficulties edgeguarding Meta Knight, but he can also execute the notorious Gooey Pillar that will be a guaranteed hit on Meta Knight anywhere between 55% and 85%.
  • vs. Saki: 65-35 -- Saki's projectile sails over Meta Knight's head, so Saki's only real option against Meta Knight is to go close up. Saki's forward air beats all of Meta Knight's attacks on both range and speed (bar Shuttle Loop, but that leaves Meta Knight helpless). However, Saki has little else going for him, and Meta Knight can combo him very well thanks to his falling speed. Saki has severe difficulties killing Meta Knight, as the latter can jump over his forward air wall and his smash attacks are hard to land against the faster opponent. Meta Knight has difficulties landing a successful down smash against the similarly fast Saki, but his down air goes through Saki's Phantom Rise and therefore edgeguards without a hitch.
  • vs. Krystal: 50-50 -- Both of Krystal's main projectiles are unstoppable to Meta Knight, and her jab also outranges every one of Meta Knight's attacks. She can therefore shut down Meta Knight's approach better than any other character in the game, resulting in this matchup. Meta Knight's ability to kill Krystal is better than the vice versa, and once Meta Knight gets within his own attacking range Krystal is at a huge disadvantage.
  • vs. Peach: 55-45 -- Much like Krystal, Peach's projectiles are unstoppable to Meta Knight; however, the speed at which they come out is a lot slower, making it easier for Meta Knight to approach. At close range, Meta Knight generally holds the upper hand with longer ranged disjoints and faster attack speed, although Peach's combo ability cannot be overlooked, and even at close range she can still make good use of turnips. At the edge, the two are both evenly matched. Meta Knight's down air doesn't go through Peach's parasol, but Peach's turnips will have a hard time hitting a crafty Meta Knight on the way back to the stage.
  • vs. Mega Man: 80-20 -- Mega Man is a character who relies mostly on his amazing camping abilities... so when Meta Knight is capable of ripping it apart, Mega Man ends up with a terrible matchup. Meta Knight is one of the few characters capable of jumping over a wall of Tornado Holds, while at the same time dodging uncharged shots (via forward air). Leaf Shield (and its boomerang version) is harder to avoid, but multiple jumps once again usually stops it cold. At close range, Meta Knight destroys Mega Man, as he has the same range, more disjointed attacks and much faster attack speed. Mega Man's only attack capable of countering any of Meta Knight's is his Up Special, Mega Upper; even so, it still leaves him helpless. In terms of survivability, Meta Knight holds the upper hand, as Mega Man's onstage finishers are too slow or too weak to be effective and his edgeguarding options can simply be glided over. Meta Knight may have some difficulty edgeguarding Mega Man when close up, due to the huge hitbox on Mega Upper; however, a Mega Man recovering from further away cannot counter Meta Knight's down air with the first hitbox of Mega Upper, making it an easy edgeguard.
  • vs. Ryu: 90-10 -- Ryu's terrible attack and movement speed means that Meta Knight has a very easy time racking up damage on him at close range. Meta Knight can glide over Hadokens, and a Shuttle Loop just about outranges a Tatsumaki. Ryu's down air gimp can turn a match around, but Meta Knight is still incredibly difficult to hit while recovering, especially with the low range of Ryu's down air. Ryu's main advantage is his survivability; with the large hitbox on Shoryuken, he can avoid being edgeguarded by Meta Knight very well, while his own powerful attacks are enough to kill Meta Knight earlier.
  • vs. Chun-Li: 95-5 -- Nearly identical to the Ryu matchup, but without the ease of recovery.
  • vs. Evil Ryu: 90-10 -- Evil Ryu is very similar to Ryu in most aspects, so the matchup is unsurprisingly very similar. However, what Evil Ryu lacks in recovery and survivability, he makes up for with the Zanku Hadoken, which Meta Knight actually has difficulty getting around due to its unique trajectory and huge hitbox given the two projectiles fired at once.

Meta Knight's Normal Moves


  • Meta Knight swings his sword around him very quickly while yelling. Very flashy, but absolutely useless as an opponent can easily DI out and punish. Can be held indefinitely. Each hit does 1% damage; just pressing the attack will do a total of 8% if the opponent uses no DI.

Forward Tilt

  • Meta Knight swings his sword horizontally, then diagonally and finally vertically. A three hit combo, much like a normal jab. Deals decent damage and can combo into an aerial at very low percentanges when hit at the right spot. Although the first hit seems to have long range, the actual hibox only extends to about two-thirds of the sprite. The first hit does 3%, the second hit does 3%, and the third hit does 4%, totalling 10% damage.

Up Tilt

  • Meta Knight spins around while stabbing the sword up in the air. Noticeable startup and ending lag, but a decent disjoint in front of and above Meta Knight. Can kill at very high percentages (~150%), but is mostly used to punish air approaches. Does 8% damage.

Down Tilt

  • Meta Knight stabs his sword across the ground a little. Quick, but with none of the range of the Brawl counterpart. Weak, and actually does so little hitstun the opponent can punish Meta Knight if hit by it at low percentages. Can pseudo-combo into a down smash at higher percentages, but has little use otherwise. Does 4% damage.

Dash Attack

  • Meta Knight kicks forward with one foot. Low range and priority, but quick and combos from a down throw at mid percentages. No longer capable of any combo potential itself, and much less range than the Brawl version, but still a decent move. Does 7% damage.

Neutral Air

  • Meta Knight spins around rapidly while swinging the sword, dealing multiple hits. Does a total of four hits which are inescapable unless hit at the edge of the attack. Overall long range that covers Meta Knight's body, with little lag on either side. Also very low ending lag, making this overall a great approach move. Hitting with the first three hits and then landing can be used for combos, although at most percentages it only combos into a Shuttle Loop. The first hit does 3%, the second hit does 2%, the third hit does 3% and the fourth hit does 3%, totalling 11% damage.

Forward Air

  • Meta Knight slashes three times in front. One of Meta Knight's longest ranged moves, and with decent priority and low startup and ending lag, this is one of Meta Knight's best defensive attacks. It is very difficult to punish when spaced right, and can perform a decent wall of pain provided the third hit connects. Some noticeable landing lag that prevents it from comboing when fast falled into the ground. Vital in the Mega Man matchup, as it cancels the weaker shots. Does three hits of 3% each, totalling 9% damage.

Back Air

  • Meta Knight slashes three times behind. Similar to forward air, but slower and less of a guarantee that all three hits will connect. Generally shouldn't be used in lieu of forward air. The first hit does 3%, the second hit does 3% and the third hit does 4%, totalling 10% damage.

Up Air

  • Meta Knight slashes above in an arc very quickly. One of the quickest attacks in the game, even after losing speed from Brawl, and has almost no landing lag. Is also quite weak and therefore great for comboing into itself in a very quick version of juggling; a guaranteed combo of about 30% damage. Does 6% damage.

Down Air

  • Meta Knight slashes below in an arc. Low-angled, average horizontal knocback that edgeguards brilliantly. Onstage, it is still useful for its high priority, and is notable for cancelling out Goku's Ki Blasts. Does 6-7% damage.

Glide Attack

  • Meta Knight slashes diagonally. Powerful and can vertically KO at around 130%, but difficult to set up. Has some noticeable landing lag, so it is no longer safe on shield against grounded opponents. However, Meta Knight's ability to use glide attack indefinitely without going helpless (unless he initiates the glide from a Shuttle Loop) is an added bonus that makes it a solid move to use in the air. Does 12% damage.

Forward Throw

  • Meta Knight performs a somersault and kicks the opponent in the air. Vertical knockback that can't combo but puts the opponent in the air, where Meta Knight usually likes them. The first hit does 3% and the second hit does 5%, totalling 8% damage.

Back Throw

  • Meta Knight pulls the target behind him and slashes them backwards. Helpful for getting the opponent offstage. The first hit does 3% and the second hit does 6%, totalling 9% damage.

Up Throw

  • Meta Knight leaps into the air, then crashes down to the ground, releasing his target upwards. Pretty much the same as forward throw, although it does more damage. The first hit does 2% and the second hit does 8%, totalling 10% damage.

Down Throw

  • Meta Knight stomps on his target and kicks them away. Low horizontal knockback that can combo at low percentages into many attacks, including a forward tilt, a forward air or a dash attack. Does 9 hits, totalling 11% damage. There are 7 hits of 1% damage and 1 hit of 0% damage, before the final hit of 4% damage.

Forward Smash

  • Meta Knight brings his sword to his side, grunts and flings it horizontally. Lots of startup lag and is usually not used, although its range is far superior to that of down smash and can be used as an alternative finisher against the slower characters; it also kills earlier than down smash. Surprisingly useful in the Meta Knight mirror matchup. Does 14% uncharged and 20% fully charged.

Up Smash

  • Meta Knight swings his sword above him quickly three times. Long range and not too much lag, making it great for anti-air purposes, but useless otherwise. Uncharged, the first hit does 3%, the second hit does 3% and the third hit does 5%, totalling 11% damage. Fully charged, the first hit does 3%, the second hit does 5% and the third hit does 8%, totalling 16% damage.

Down smash

  • Meta Knight slams his sword down in front of him, then swings it behind him. Very fast, but terrible range on the front hit. Has decent power and can killat 120% on the back hit and tip of the front hit. Uncharged, the front hit does 10%, the tip of the front hit does 11% and the back hit does 13%. Fully charged, the front hit does 13%, the tip of the front hit does 16% and the back hit does 20%.

Ledge Attack

  • Meta Knight gets up from the ledge and performs a quick slash.

Meta Knight's Special Moves

Type Name Description
Neutral Special

Mach Tornado

Press the Special Attack Button to begin a twirling barrage of sword strikes, with limited movement options, that damages opponents.
Side Special

Drill Rush

Commend a drilling sword rush while moving sideways. You may not move backwards.
Up Special Shuttle Loop Propel yourself upwards with a powerful sword strike, do a loop, and commence gliding.
Down Special Dimensional Cape Disappear within your cape only to appear somewhere nearby, influenced by the directional keys. By holding the Special Attack Button by time Meta Knight has reappeared, execute a sword strike upon appearance.
Final Smash

Galaxia Darkness

Trap an unlucky opponent to perfrom an extremely powerful sword attack that may affect opponents not trapped.


Notable Appearances