Originating in 1986 as the not so eponymous main character of ‘The Legend of Zelda’, Link has grown to be one of Nintendo’s most beloved and well-known characters. Long-time fans of Link finally get their justice in Ultimate as this is truly the best iteration of Link we have had yet! Link is one of the slower characters in the game, but his high weight and kill power more than make up for this. The key with Link is to use his variety of projectiles to force your opponent into a vulnerable position and then blast them with your strong, multi-hit up and forward smash attacks. These moves have high damage and large hitboxes, meaning they are very good at catching out the enemy as they try to avoid your plethora of traps.
Link’s neutral special is his Bow and Arrow. It is a great zoning tool with moderate damage, scaling up the longer you charge it. A good trick is to fire one at the ground and then pick it up, this lets your next shot fire 2 arrows simultaneously! Use the arrows to force your opponent to jump and punish them with an anti-air.
His side special, Boomerang, can be thrown in a variety of angles and distances, filling a similar role to the arrows. However, the boomerang also has a hitbox on the way back, providing additional pressure as Link moves around the battlefield. It can also be bounced off the ground, providing many mix up options to your playstyle.
Link’s up special and main recovery option is Spin Attack. It can be charged whilst on the ground to deal a large amount of damage on both sides of Link, but where it really shines is the large vertical distance that can be covered with this. Along with a jump, Link can now recover from almost anywhere off stage!
The bread and butter of Link’s move set is his down special, the Remote Bomb. Using it creates a remote bomb which can be detonated again with the same input (as long as no one is holding the bomb). The possibilities with this move are endless; you can use it to hit and kill the enemy off stage or place it on a platform to limit your opponent’s movement options. Alternatively, the bomb can be placed near the ledge, forcing your opponent to jump from the ledge which can then quickly be countered with a forward or up aerial. If you’re feeling particularly fancy you can also use the bomb to hit yourself off stage to add further distance to your recovery.
Other important things worth knowing are that when standing still, Link blocks projectiles with his Hylian shield and when his health is at 0% his forward smash also has its own projectile; a neat call back to his original games.
I would place The Hero of Time securely in high tier, held away from top tier only by his unfavourable matchups against the game’s best such as Palutena and Pikachu.
If you want to learn more about Link there are great videos by pro player ‘ZeRo’ and long-time Link main ‘Izaw’ on YouTube. Happy Smashing!