Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: How To Counter Sonic


Super Smash Bros. tends to keep their veteran characters’ moveset the same. This is reasonable for keeping a character just as accessible, but it’s not always a good idea when their moveset leaves a lot to be desired. When new installments in a character’s original franchise come out with moves that could potentially freshen up their kit, the point against accessibility prioritizing innovation is exemplified. This has been the case for many fighters that could use some changes, such as Ganondorf, who did get a change in the form of new Smash attacks. However, along with him is a character that’s not only received even fewer changes but needs them much more: Sonic the Hedgehog.


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Sonic is one of Smash Ultimate’s higher-tier characters, thanks to his most defining trait alone. This makes playing him a chore sometimes, especially if you run into a more defensive playstyle of the character. That being said, he’s not without his exploitable weaknesses. Here are Sonic’s traits as a fighter and how you can take advantage of them when battling him.

Sonic’s Strengths

It goes without saying that Sonic’s primary strength is his outstanding speed and overall mobility. True to his source material, Sonic is the fastest character in the entire game by a significant margin when you factor in his ground speed. His jump height, airspeed, and fall speed are also very decent. This means he can comfortably out-maneuver and camp other characters if he wants to. He can also easily apply pressure to characters that need time and space to use their tools.

Thanks to his speed, he’s great at whiff punishing. Similarly to Greninja, he can bait opponents into attacking him only to move out of range and hit them with an attack of his own. A great attack for this is his Forward-Smash, a move notorious for its deceptive range and power (as well as its two-framing capabilities). His tilts are also helpful for this due to their speed and frame data being great. However, he doesn’t necessarily need to do this, thanks to his Side-B and Down-B specials, which allow him to move across the stage at varying speeds. This gives him more of a hit-and-run playstyle.

Sonic has a great aerial game as well. All of his aerial attacks are useful in different situations. His NAir, in particular, is great for combos and killing off the top of the stage at high percents. His other aerials serve purposes onstage as well, but they make him great in edgeguarding scenarios. This is either thanks to their multi-hit lingering properties or the advantageous angle that they send opponents. His Up-B also adds to his edgeguarding potential due to the projectile falling straight down from his position, covering areas far below the ledge at no risk to him.

Sonic’s Weaknesses

Sonic coming to a halt before he's hit by a Shy Guy driving a kart in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Sonic’s biggest weakness is his lack of kill potential. While he can rack up damage pretty well, his immediate damage output with each attack isn’t the best. His other kill moves are also burdened with low base knockback, long startup, and endlag, positioning requirements to kill effectively, or all of the above (such as the previously mentioned NAir). This means that Sonic’s opponents will usually live past very high percents.

Another weakness is his susceptibility to juggling. Sonic’s mobility is great, but one place where it suffers is air acceleration (being how fast a character can move from left to right and vice versa in the air). This means that if Sonic gets caught in a juggling situation, he can’t rely on his movement to escape. His aerial attacks aren’t the best in this predicament due to their range being minimal and his best landing option, DAir, being predictable and laggy if he doesn’t use it high enough. This, paired with the bad KO potential, is very dangerous for Sonic since he’s a lightweight character, meaning he can be killed a lot easier than he can kill others.

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Strategy & Counterplay

Sonic running across the stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Sonic’s speed allows him to dictate the pace of the match. When it comes to the neutral game, this means he can play to almost any state of the game however he wants. Don’t allow him to do this to you; instead, try to set the pace of the game yourself. This can be especially difficult if Sonic is in the lead since that means you’ll have to approach him. But in that scenario, just wait for him to make a mistake and follow up on it. As for when Sonic is behind, make it hard for him to approach you. Don’t put yourself in a corner when doing this, however, as it’s a very bad spot that Sonic can easily take advantage of.

If you manage to get Sonic in the air, keep him there by staying directly under him and hitting him as he comes down. He’s not great at a disadvantage due to his lack of range, as well as predictable and laggy options. A good way to do this is watching out for his Side-B, as it puts him in the air briefly, and he’ll tend to cancel out of it with a jump for follow-ups. Speaking of his Side-B, you should recognize the difference between it and his Down-B. The latter is a multi-hit move that carries opponents as he moves. Use the knowledge of these moves to your advantage when dealing with Sonic.

When recovering against Sonic, he’ll either go for a FAir or BAir if you’re far offstage or a DAir if you’re near the ledge. Recovering from a high point is usually your best bet, as Sonic will most likely need his Up-B to reach you. However, it’s best to make him guess where you’ll go and weave around his hitboxes as he comes to you. If the roles are reversed, watch out for his specials when he’s recovering; the Spin Dash and Spin Charge can make him a moving hitbox in the air, and he can act out of his Up-B to attack or dodge.

Good/Bad Matchups

Sonic holding a butterfly in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Sonic does best against characters that have a much harder time dealing with his speed. These tend to be characters that need time and space to utilize their tools, such as those with charging moves. This includes characters like Zelda, Hero, Byleth, Steve, and Piranha Plant. Other characters that are a good matchup for him are those that are easily edge guarded. Characters like Incineroar, King K. Rool, Donkey Kong, King Dedede, and Dr. Mario aren’t good picks against him.

Characters that do well against him are exclusive to those that can keep him out or force him to approach. These can be characters with great aerial attacks that beat his approaches, such as Corrin, Palutena, Wolf, Roy, and Inkling. Your best bet would be characters with projectiles, as Sonic doesn’t have reliable means of dealing with them despite his mobility (his mobility specials are especially unhelpful in this case as they increase his hurtbox beyond the moves’ hitboxes). Samus, Fox, Pikachu, Snake, Mega Man, and R.O.B. are the best picks against him.

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