Some say there are too many Fire Emblem characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With Marth having nearly three echoes, it’s fair to make that case. Yet in spite of all the hatred towards them, everybody has thought of picking up at least one of the oversaturated sword fighters.
To make that decision easier, we’ve ranked the best Fire Emblem characters based on four criteria: tier list placement, competitive results, overall popularity, and — most importantly — their swords.
- Tier list: 1st
- Competitive results: 2nd
- Popularity: 1st
- Sword: 4th
Lucina is regularly mentioned as one of the best characters in Ultimate. An echo fighter of her father Marth, she is seen as the stronger alternative and easier to learn. This has kept her well-represented in competitive play. She was Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez’s original main and is still preferred by many other pros.
Casual players also favor Lucina, making her the most popular Fire Emblem character in Ultimate. Her simple learning curve makes her ideal for beginners and she is a great introduction to playing other sword fighters.
What separates Lucina most from Marth is her sword. It lacks the “tipper” mechanic, so it deals equal damage no matter the range. This prevents Lucina from getting early KOs but in turn makes her more consistent overall.
- Tier list: 2nd
- Competitive results: 1st
- Popularity: 4th
- Sword: 3rd
It’s been a long time coming for Roy. After being low-tier in Melee and Smash 4, the fire-headed swordsman is finally viable in Ultimate. Not only that, but he sits amongst the top characters in the game. This is reflected in the competitive scene where many pro players have found success maining Roy. Most notable is Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan, who recently won CEO and the Smash World Tour NA East Regional Final in 2021.
Roy started as an echo fighter for Marth and still retains many of the same moves. Over time, he has been better tuned to stand out as a separate fighter. In a stark contrast from the days of Melee, Roy is now much more popular than Marth in Ultimate.
Roy’s sword lacks range, but this plays into its “sweet spot” mechanic. The closer he is to the opponent, the more powerful the slash. Roy’s cat-like quickness makes getting in a breeze and when combined with his sword’s power he can end matches in a flash.
- Tier list: 4th
- Competitive results: 4th
- Popularity: 2nd
- Sword: 2nd
Thanks to his hard-hitting style, Ike has always been one of Smash’s most popular swordsmen. His slow, yet ferocious power is a major change of pace from the agility associated with the archetype. Ike is heavily used online and has one of the highest online win rates. In the competitive circuit, his mid-tier status has kept him from becoming a common sight at tournaments.
Nevertheless, there are still pros who main Ike at a high level. Many players broke out during the pandemic using him in online tournaments. Due to input lag, Ike’s heavy attacks became harder to react to and some are now seemingly safe on shield.
Ike’s sword packs a thunderous punch that is infamous in Smash lore. It can KO foes well under 100% and gives him a serious intimidation factor against those unprepared. Ike’s Side B also serves as the best recovery option for any Fire Emblem character in Ultimate. The one downside to the sword is that its immense strength also makes attacks nauseatingly slow with long recovery.
- Tier list: 6th
- Competitive results: 3rd
- Popularity: 3rd
- Sword: 1st
As part of Ultimate’s DLC, Byleth is the newest Fire Emblem character introduced to Smash. They offer a unique spin on the traditional sword fighter by adding in a host of new tools. Unfortunately, most of them are not all that useful and Byleth is generally seen as low-tier. They are virtually unused in competitive play, save for one impactful player: MkLeo currently mains Byleth and used them to win the 2021 Smash World Tour Finals.
Perhaps because of MkLeo or another reason, Byleth is a very popular character online even with their supposed weaknesses. They are easy to learn and have explosive attacks that can excel in casual play. However, unlocking their full potential takes tons of practice and a willingness to endure their shortcomings.
Byleth undoubtedly wields the best sword in Ultimate. Its skeletal design doesn’t just look cool, but also morphs into several different weapons. These include a whip, scythe, lance, and even a bow that launches a full-screen projectile.
- Tier list: 3rd
- Competitive results: 5th
- Popularity: 6th
- Sword: 6th
Making his debut in Ultimate, Chrom holds the unfortunate title of the game’s least-original Fire Emblem character. He is essentially an echo of Roy but with Ike’s Up B. Chrom’s design may be uninspiring but it doesn’t hurt his effectiveness. He is usually placed high on tier lists, though he falls significantly behind Lucina and Roy.
Pro players notice Chrom’s strengths but tend to only play him as a secondary or co-main. Furthermore, his similarities to Roy tend to make him less popular in both competitive and casual play. Chrom’s popularity suffered a severe drop during the pandemic when PGstats suggested he was the game’s worst character online.
Similar to Lucina’s correlation with Marth, Chrom’s sword lacks Roy’s “sweet spot.” This makes Chrom less reliant on staying in close to deal max damage. However, the sword still has short range and can’t unleash devastating power, though it certainly isn’t weak.
- Tier list: 5th
- Competitive results: 8th
- Popularity: 7th
- Sword: 5th
Marth is the original representative of Fire Emblem in the Smash series. Debuting in Melee, he set the blueprint for many characters’ designs down the road. Marth is top tier in most other Smash games, but falls somewhere in the middle in Ultimate. While many pros see his strengths, other characters like Roy and Lucina offer better options. This has made Marth almost non-existent in the competitive scene.
The rise of his Fire Emblem castmates has hit Marth’s popularity hard as well. This especially rings true with his echo Lucina, who has all the same tools in a more balanced package. Although he received buffs last year, Marth has been almost completely overtaken by his daughter in the Ultimate meta.
Marth’s sword is unique for its “tipper” mechanic. This causes the sword to deal more damage when its tip strikes the opponent. Marth can score some early KOs at optimal range, but his sword’s lackluster utility in close makes him very reliant on spacing.
- Tier list: 8th
- Competitive results: 6th
- Popularity: 5th
- Sword: 8th
Robin is definitely the most unique Fire Emblem character in Smash who favors zoning with projectiles over fighting opponents in close. Robin’s swords and spells implement a durability system that causes them to break when overused. Items must be recharged when they break, making Robin a meticulous character to play. Because of this and other shortcomings, they are considered bottom-tier in Ultimate.
Despite their poor tier placement, Robin sees decent representation in competitive play, predominantly overseas. They are also a popular character online due to their array of projectiles.
Robin technically wields two swords, but their Levin Sword is the main attraction. This lighting-shaped blade has good range and shocking power. Unfortunately, Robin only uses it during certain attacks, and their reliance on zoning makes it a situational tool.
- Tier list: 7th
- Competitive results: 7th
- Popularity: 8th
- Sword: 7th
Corrin is another distinctive character who mixes sword fighting with the powers of a dragon. Colloquially called the “pinwheel," their free arm can morph into a draconic spike more lethal than their sword. Corrin is widely seen as low-tier despite their fun playstyle and is rarely seen in competitive play.
There are a few Corrin loyalists, but most have found little to no success in tournaments. Corrin is also one of the least played characters online.
Corrin’s glowing gold sword is a sight to behold, but the problem is they barely use it. Their best moves use dragon powers, including all smash and special attacks. It’s a shame because they truly wield one of Ultimate’s best-looking blades.
Which character will you decide to go with? Let us know if you have too much pride to play Lucina or still stick with Corrin throughout all the L’s.