When you think of Low Tier, who comes to mind? Among the most named characters, you may find Jigglypuff, Bowser Jr., and Little Mac. However, Incineroar, despite being seldom named, comes weighed down with more than enough deficits to land him smack in the bottom of the roster. So is Incineroar in SSBU dangerous or?
Incineroar, the Heel Pokemon, made his Super Smash Bros. debut in Ultimate. As the final evolution of the Gen VII starter, Litten, Incineroar was among the most requested characters for the new Smash game. With his imposing size, strength, and wrestling ability, Incineroar would surely bring the fire to Ultimate.
Unfortunately, first impressions only go so far. While the initial stretch of Smash promised an incredibly powerful character, the fire quickly began to fade. All that’s left now is a large cat Pokemon that serves the purpose of grabbing unsuspecting players. But wiser players know how to reduce Incineroar to embers.
With that being said, we invite you to check out the 5 reasons why Incineroar in SSBU isn’t as good as some people think.
Reasons Why Incineroar is Bottom Tier
Incineroar’s strength boasts incredible kill power and grab damage. Once he gets close, you might be history. He can get a Lariat up close or send you flying with a Back Throw at 90%. However, that’s assuming he can close the gap to begin with.
With that being said, the character’s run speed caps at 1.18, which is the worst in the game. This is even slower than the Smash 4’s slowest character, Robin. Unlike Robin, however, he lacks projectiles and disjointed hitboxes. Therefore, his lack of mobility makes him susceptible to camping.
Furthermore, his aerial speed does not help. Despite a max air acceleration of 0.07, his air speed caps at a meager 0.88, ranking him at 74th out of 80. This not only makes his aerial approaches bad, but makes him among the most susceptible characters to juggling in the game.
Incineroar boosts large hitboxes and fairly fast attacks. Darkest Lariat starts at Frame 5 as does his Neutral Aerial. His slowest aerial move, Down Aerial, starts at Frame 16. Unlike characters like Bowser or Donkey Kong, Incineroar lacks disjointed hitboxes.
Outside of Darkest Lariat, everything he throws out can be beaten out. That is to say he cannot stuff out enemy players reliably. Furthermore, blade characters, such as Ike and Lucina, outrange the character completely. Any chance to get in relies entirely on punishing a mistake and capitalizing it as much as possible.
Incineroar in SSBU has two options for recovery: Alolan Whip (Side B) and Cross Chop (Up B). His Alolan Whip carries him forward briefly, akin to Captain Falcon’s Side B. Additionally, he can act out of the move. This means using his Cross Chop to gain more distance. Note that Cross Chop activates on Frame 11 and grants him super armor from frame 4-15. This means his recovery largely gets protection from spikes and edgeguards.
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, his aerial speed is among the worst in the game. Compare this to another character with bad recovery – Chrom. Despite his linear Up B option, Chrom ranks 4-5 in air speed. He can cover ground quickly in the air allowing him to even use airdodging to the ledge as a mixup. Incineroar, however, has no such speed.
As such, Alolan Whip is incredibly easy to beat. Its trajectory moves a short distance. He can only grab you if you’re close to him. Plus, you can fire projectiles or slash him with a disjoint, making him completely prone to an edgeguard. This makes punishing horizontal recovery easy.
Incineroar is then forced to make a choice. Cross Chop from below and risk getting ledgetrapped or go high to punish an edgeguard attempt. In the case of the former, Incineroar in SSBU lacks ledge options. His short reach and large hurtbox makes him susceptible to attacks from a distance.
In the case of the latter, however, Cross Chop ends with 61 frames of landing lag. Should he miss, your opponent gets a free punish. In short, it’s suicide.
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4. Predictable Kill Options
Incineroar’s main options to procure kills involves the following:
- Up Throw
- Back Throw
- Alolan Whip
- Back Aerial
- Down Aerial (spike)
- Smash Attacks
The best way to learn your average kill percents is to play against Mario in Training Mode. Use the Training stage to determine the blast zones. Once you’re set, rack up his percent and use that as a guide. Figure out Mario’s percentage for kills and average it out from there. Lighter characters take less damage while heavier characters take more. You can find the weight values here.
In Mario’s case, I could lock kills with Up Throw around 130% and Back Throw – on the ledge – around 90% or less. With these numbers, one might suspect Incineroar in SSBU is broken. In addition, I’ve gotten around 90% kills off Alolan Whip. This move starts at Frame 18.
However, it hunches his hurtbox back at the start, making it alright for counterattacks, as well as having a sizable grab hitbox. This command grab beats shields easily. The successful strike will end stocks around 90% and makes for a great mixup option.
Furthermore, Incineroar can secure stocks with Back Aerial in neutral. And he can go for Down Aerial spikes. Finally, you have the option to use any of his Smash attacks. Up Smash covers a sizable hitbox while Down Smash has a deceptive “jump” to punish whiffs. Using Revenge will also allow you to boost damage considerably.
The Weak Points
Unfortunately, these once again come with a caveat. Good DI can save players from throws while simply avoiding the ledge reduces the risk of Back Throw kills altogether. Up Throw and Alolan Whip both force Incineroar to fiend for grabs, therefore making him more predictable. Back Aerial range isn’t impressive compared to Bayonetta and he lacks the mobility of Fox or Zero Suit Samus. Plus Dair spike, for all its good intentions, puts Incineroar in peril if he misses and has to fight back to the stage.
Then you have Forward Smash, which I purposely chose not to cover as a good option for one reason – it has a sourspot. Despite its high kill power, this one liability can ruin a potential stock for Incineroar and allow your opponent to capitalize.
Finally, you have Revenge. This will not only encourage your player to camp, but you can be grabbed once and lose Revenge’s powerup completely. In short, Revenge is a completely underpowered version of Joker’s Arsene.
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Incineroar’s lack of mobility already hinders him in neutral. Compare to Ganondorf, but with no disjointed hitboxes. Now you have no mobility or method to beat out attacks. You rely entirely on the pressure you can put on your opponent without better options.
Any attempt to chase and pressure the enemy goes out the window the moment they reset neutral. Incineroar’s best chance to capitalize on any pressure is to juggle the opponent or scare them with ledgetrapping. His juggles from Up Aerial can boost heavy damage while his Neutral Aerial covers a wide hitbox and lingers for 36 frames. His Darkest Lariat lasts for 79 frames, which lingers for over a second.
But any attempt to chase a player around a stage and fail ends badly. If Incineroar can’t pressure someone to guard, he cannot land a grab or Alolan Whip. If he’s fighting against sword or other disjoint users, he loses the exchange. If he’s fighting projectile users, he can’t get close. And if he’s fighting characters with good recovery, he will likely get edgeguarded and die an early death.
In my time in the Smash community, I’ve constantly seen people say, “Incineroar is great” to me. I’ve even had someone challenge me at my monthly state tournament in friendlies when I said he was bad, which only served to prove my case further.
Incineroar’s limited results in tournament come from Magister, a Power Ranked tournament player from Washington state. Also known as the guy who comes to tournaments to sell artwork and money match people for prints, Magister boasts a resume of top player wins, including MVD, Stroder, and Larry Lurr. However, despite being my longtime rival and the one who’s beaten me two previous times. I won our last exchange 2-0 with my Ike.
It wasn’t just because I knew this character well. And it wasn’t because Magister was, by any means, a bad player. It was because I knew where to exploit Incineroar where it hurts.
He couldn’t approach me and I knew I could hit disjointed attacks on him without any penalty if he blocked them. When it came time to collect, I could simply charge Eruption and wait for him to either snap the ledge or attempt to dive over me, both of which would end in flames. I managed to secure one of my biggest wins in Ultimate as well as a fresh new print for my girlfriend, Stephanie!
— Rango (@RangoSSB) June 29, 2019
With that being case, I want to mention that Incineroar is a super heavyweight with a command grab, kill throws, a solid out of shield option (Darkest Lariat), and tons of stamina.
But could you tell me there’s another character that has all of these options plus a disjointed aerial, a solid edgeguarding option, and better mobility? I’ll wait.
Three Bowser mains – Danye, Deluxemenu, and Leon – all rank within the Power Rankings of their respective states (Georgia, Texas, and New Jersey). In particular, Leon is not only ranked 3rd in New Jersey, but is also ranked 35th on the first Panda Global Rankings for Ultimate.
Final Words on Incineroar in SSBU
With that said, if you have fun using Incineroar in SSBU, don’t feel like you have to stop using him. He’s strong, he poses after each attack, and he’s incredibly fun to use! But if you’re not having fun with Incineroar or you’re seeking to win tournaments, however, you may benefit yourself by picking a character with better options.
Finally, let’s hope that our Heel Pokemon gets the buffs he needs in a future patch.
Thanks for reading our article on Incineroar in SSBU! What tier would you place him at? Let us know in the comments below!