Pikachu Should Have More Competitive Representation in Smash

ESAM is the only PGR ranked Pikachu player in the global top 50. Yet it’s socially agreed upon that Pikachu is definitively the best character in the game. Why isn’t the PGR littered with Pikachu?


Why should he?

The best character in Ultimate by popular agreement is Pikachu. His ridiculous aerials and recovery support this very strongly. He can carry you offstage with back-airs and obliterate you with his edge guards.

Pika’s neutral B, T-Jolt, is considered the best projectile in the game as well. It covers the entire stage and cannot be low-profiled (avoided by crouching or being short). T-Jolt also climbs wall stages, making for simple anti-edge guarding. It leads to kill-confirms too.

Pikachu’s up+b, quick attack, has a hitbox, and is lightning fast. He can recover from the blast-zone, gain stage control, and reverse an edge guard in a matter of seconds.


Pikachu is a no brainer when discussing the best characters in Ultimate. Any seasoned smasher will agree that Pikachu is at least in the top 5. The community collectively agrees with the same thinking.

Characters like Palutena, Snake, Joker, and Pokemon Trainer who share similar status with Pika are popular top-tier candidates and have high pick rates in the competitive scene. But Pikachu displays the polar opposite as if he was an obscure low-tier counter pick.

Peach is much in the same boat as Pika, occupying the popularly agreed-upon number 2 spot but lacking representation. The best of which is Samsora, ranked #2 in the world in 2019 and labelled the best Peach player on Earth.


Think about all of Pikachu’s broken moves. All of his number-1 status. Then think about this: Only one Pikachu main is globally ranked in the top 50, and that would be ESAM, globally ranked 14th.

Of course, ESAM is always labbing new tech and is incredibly skilled at Ultimate. So this makes complete sense, and he deserves such a high rank. But if everyone agrees that Pikachu is at least top 5, if not number 1, why is he so isolated on top? Why is the PGR not littered with Pikachu mains?


Pikachu sits in a very strange spot. “It’s lonely at the top”, is an applicable phrase, much like Peach. I think a large chunk of this is due to the high skill cap of both characters. Peach requires ridiculously well-timed inputs that require a very specific control set. And Pikachu tech is much the same, requiring precise timing and option-coverage.

Both characters are difficult to master, specifically Peach. But Pikachu is quite easy to pick up as a pocket pick or main for low-level players. His frame data is threatening enough, and T-Jolt does it all. Honestly, I’m quite surprised by the lack of top-level Pikachu play when it’s put into perspective like this. This raises the question: Is Pikachu as good as we think?