Tetraflora's Kirby Guide


Smash Rookie
Mar 29, 2014
Detroit, Michigan
Alright so this is my write up on Kirby. This is specifically for 3.5 and anything I mention goes mainly for this version, though a lot of it does apply for 3.02 as well. A lot of Kirby players on netplay have been asking for advice on this character and I happen to know a lot since I’ve been steadily learning and placing at tournaments with this character for the past year. I won’t really go into match ups too much in this thread since it’s not really what this is about. I personally feel I’ve had enough time to dwell on all of this and I also think Kirby may end up becoming insanely good in the new meta of 3.5 so hopefully this will come in handy to a lot of Kirby players. So I’m going to try to spill as much information as I can about this character, a lot of this coming from personal experience so some of this may not apply for some of you guys. Here's the Salty Highlights special of my Kirby (I also have one of my Ness, part 44) I really encourage you guys to check that series out since me and Doof work on it for the PM community to enjoy!

Kirby is a very interesting capitalization character in Project M! He strives for punishes and gimps, implementing reads with this character is very powerful. He is also very simple to get the basics of so picking him up isn’t too bad, I always felt that playing this character required fundamentals more than tech skill. Tech skill can help this character of course with having great waveland game and such but it’s mainly about spacing and forcing your opponent into bad situations. Kirby plays extremely well against those who are hotheaded and are not respecting him.

Kirby is tiny, use his low profile to your advantage! This is what makes Kirby’s neutral game a bit more unique in certain MUs. Any character that is tall and allows for him to duck under grabs Kirby has a huge advantage against. You’re able to stay inside their range while pressuring them and avoiding grabs with things like dtilt. Having fast reactions is really beneficial here because if the opponent whiffs anything over your head while you’re this close, you can get in a very quick punish such as a smash attack. Wavelanding is also incredible for this purpose, you can avoid many high attacks and even cross up your opponent if you’re already near. Using your duck in conjunction with your shield for attacks that can’t be ducked allows for Kirby to fight up close and personal and really can force certain characters to be very uncomfortable with such a small hard to hit target right on them that has the ability to pressure them well. Also you holding down often means you will crouch cancel things too, so that’s cool.

When outside of their range, when facing off against things such as projectiles Kirby can duck under many of these as well or even waveland if you’re good at timing this. This is much better than shielding since you won’t have to be endure shield stun of any kind. Crouch trotting is very recommended with Kirby in neutral since it allows for you to play around with a low profile even more. Using this to your advantage opens up a lot of options for Kirby and allows you get in against many characters. Don’t be afraid to duck certain aerials either, making an opponent whiff an aerial as they’re falling will allow for you to get a really good punish usually as they come in for landing but this is a more risky maneuver that works better in certain situations. Due to him being so great at having a low profile, I’d argue that Kirby is best on the ground instead of the air in neutral. In the air he’s great on the offensive but defensively and otherwise he’s average up there.

Kirby lives life on the edge! This character is very awesome at edge play, and has many options for defending and playing offensive on the edge. Being at the edge as Kirby is a place you want to be a lot of the time, it gives YOU the advantage usually. Even if you are trying to play more aggro instead of defensive, being here is still a place that is favorable in most MUs and you generally want to bring fights here.

Kirby doesn’t really care about your percent or enemy lead. This character is a MASTER of gimps. With Inhale, Final Cut Spike, his ability to dash attack off the stage and all of his good aerials combined with his 5 jumps, Kirby putting another character offstage is what you almost ALWAYS want to do. Bad recoveries have no chance offstage against our amazing toolkit and even good recoveries will have to play carefully in order not to lose their stock once off the stage. Our beloved Kirby is an absolute monster when it comes to terrorizing others off the stage and I highly emphasize getting comfortable with fighting offstage with this character. If you're a stock ahead, your options are terrifying to keep that lead. A Kirby who is not implementing this will be missing out on a huge benefit to his game.

Getting the opponent to the edge is for this reason, so they will be offstage for your gimps. A good inhale or final cut will end out a stock at ANY percent against most of the cast so being keen to watching for these two options is ideal since they’re his strongest gimp tools. Wall of paining with various aerials and reverse uairs will semi spike certain recoveries dead if you can land it. Dair is also very dangerous against certain recoveries and dsmash’s lingering hitbox is a semispike as well.

Kirby is a fan of the platforms. Between inhale and dash attack, the pink ball is really good with stages that have platforms. Inhale is awesome at catching opponents on platforms as most command grabs are, and dash attack is good if you’re on a platform already. Wavelanding is also really good with Kirby so it allows for him to maneuver around platforms very fluently and keep mobile. Also on certain stages like Battlefield, the platform height is awesome for Kirby’s jump height. Naturally Kirby can barely make it onto a platform with his full jump. But if you immediately jump with a uair/nair/dair, Kirby doesn’t get on top of the platform, instead he appears slightly above it and falls back through it automatically. Fast falling with this allows for really great platform harassment on opponents who are stuck on one.

I’m going to go over what I feel for every single of our pink hero’s moves as a whole and analyze what I feel is good about them.

Inhale (Neutral B): This move is Kirby’s staple, and in Project M boy is it better than ever. Command grabs in general are very good, getting an opponent on a platform means you can just scoop them with this and exhale them for a good 10%. Copying certain abilities is very much worth it for certain MUs. A lot of people tend to mash incorrectly or try to retaliate immediately upon exiting exhale meaning you can get another follow up. Mixing up your opponent with wavebounce or b reverses really make this move tricky. It’s a fantastic move, using it at the edge will make people scared of you there because if you’re a stock ahead you have the option to kirbycide and still stay in the lead, or gimp them in some horrific way!

Gimping with Inhale: Gimping with inhale is done in three ways. One is to Inhale release them (Opponent mashes out or you wait 4 seconds after inhaling). Second way is to exhale them underneath or away from the stage (Good on stages like warioware where you can hit the side blast zones easier or smashville where they’re put underneath the stage). And the third way is to just kirbycide (Falling into the blast zone with the opponent in your mouth).

Against fast fallers, the inhale release will drop them at a cruel angle, allowing for good edgeguard chances. This is VITAL against spacies as it allows you to most likely take their stock at any percent with a proper inhale at the edge. Mashing out is good for you, it allows you to fall off the stage and release the opponent below you, allowing for good edgeguard chances. If they chose not to mash out, you count 4 seconds. Trust me, this allows for you to time it yourself and fall off, playing chicken with the blast zone and killing them before you die, allowing for a recovery. It’s hard but it is very VERY valuable to have as an option against those you know don’t mash out of your kirbycide.

It’s your judgement to decide when it’s a good time to allow yourself to die too, if possible its always best to survive so you still have that extra stock but if you’re losing a stock (same stock, you’re at like 100 and they’re at nearly 0) its worth it, or if you’re a stock ahead it’s fine as long as that stock isn’t too new for yourself. Otherwise go for other gimps if you want to play as efficient as possible.

The most dangerous news you have for someone is those who know to wiggle around inside of you to push you off the edge, the best thing to do in this situation if the auto release timer isn’t gonna happen yet is to just exhale otherwise you’ll both die (Which in some situations you want this). Exhaling is a good panic option in case you accidently fell off the stage and you don’t want to lose your stock yet. It’s also great on some stages like Fountain of Dreams where the bottom base will curve the star shot downward, popping the opponent up to allow for an edgeguard chance.

Hammer (Forward B): The strongest punish Kirby has against non fast fallers. It’s a fairly good move but it’s not best to use this in neutral, you have other ways to make this move work. The most common way to make this work is after a jab reset. Jab -> Ground Hammer is very easy to time and will hit for a nice 26% total. This can be amazing in dthrow techchases, allowing for a really scary finisher or burst in damage if the opponent fails a tech.

Aerial Hammer (Forward B): Remember the tip is the sweetspot on both swings! It’s a very solid spacing tool that can kill off opponents decently early, especially the second swing which sends at a semispike angle nearly. Short hop aerial hammer is very good and surprisingly safe to space with. This can be a nice ender to combos midair or just a really handy neutral poke due to it being disjointed unlike any of Kirby’s other moves.

Stone (Down B): This move got changed from 3.02, now it’s able to actually KO floaties, yay! This is a decent combo escape move to threaten people with a super armored hitbox that if canceled midair is pretty safe. If you hit the ground with this, you’re more punishable but it’s not as bad as it was in previous smash games. B reverseing or wavebouncing this move gives it a nice mix up chance to throw off your opponents I find, and against certain recoveries with dominating hitboxes, this can be a nice guaranteed way to land 13% and possibly knock them into a bad situation, or possibly even KO them.

Stone also has a shockwave hitbox which if used from the ground always uses this hitbox. It’s decent for forcing fast fallers offstage at a pretty good angle which is always great for Kirby but due to how much more commitment stone has in 3.5, it’s not a thing I would go for that often since if you miss the ground shockwave, you’re at risk to get punished.

Final Cutter (Up B): This move is beautiful, personally my favorite move on Kirby but I’ve always really enjoyed the Cutter ability! Final cutter is a TRUE SPIKE, USE IT! Final cutter ALSO can grab edges backwards unlike in previous smash games. This means that you can spike recovering opponents then grab the ledge, killing many recoveries outright and the rest you are able to just ledge drop dair/bair the rest. This is a LETHAL part of Kirby’s gimp game, at least the way I play him and I encourage ALL of us to use this. It’s range is surprisingly big and disjointed for a Kirby hitbox which will deceive many opponents. If you miss the final cutter spike, you grab the edge allowing for an edgehog possibly or at least refreshing your frames. The only downfall to using this move is if you’re not careful you can end up getting edgehogged if you weren’t fast enough. But if you’re good at reacting you can just land on the stage instead to avoid the SD. This make take some getting used to for some but I encourage learning it so damn much.

Final cutter also is good at the edge, immediately upon grabbing it and getting your invincibility frames you can immediately up B. This allows for you to have NO MORE than a 3 frame window of getting hit before your huge bladed hitbox comes out to launch any opponent at the edge into the spike hitbox of final cutter, forcing them into a tech situation and you to grab the edge to regain those invincibility frames and make a decision on what to do about their tech situation. It becomes incredibly good when mixed with cutter dash to refresh frames or a surprise hit with the final cut wave when you land on the stage.

Final Cutter’s wave projectile is a nice option for poking long range with Kirby. It’s his only default projectile and it can be a decent way to get some percent in. It’s also very handy for edgeguard situations especially if used on slopes since the angle of where it shoots will change. Hitting someone trying to recover with the very end of final cut wave can gimp some recoveries if it hits, and can be a mix up for your final cut spike.

Cutter Dash (Hold forward + B after Up B): This move is a decent way to cut through projectiles that are below you and get to your opponent very quickly. However it’s a risky move since if you get hit out of it, you lose all your jumps so be very careful with this. It’s easy to rely on this and dash attack as a crutch for getting in as Kirby, don’t do that. Use it as a mix up to throw off your opponent or to punish a slower projectile option. It has a bit too much start up to really just throw out there so be careful and space it well if you use it. It can be risky recovering with this instead of final cutter since the hitbox is less likely to hit the opponent unless they time their attack wrong, but it’s still a good option.

This move however is excellent for ledge stalling/refreshing invincibility frames, a thing that very few Kirby players use outside of myself it seems. Grabbing the ledge, dropping from it immediately and cutter dashing to regrab the ledge leaves you vulnerable for maybe 10 frames, but during that time you have a hitbox on your body allowing you to hit opponents. It’s risky to use it for hitting, but for quickly refreshing your frames it’s very beneficial and allows you to mix up with final cutter or ledge jump cutter dash to sneak a hit on the opponent. It can be used safely in most situations and you just have to pay attention to your opponent to make sure you don’t get hit out of it. Getting hit of this is BAD NEWS but usually most characters have a lot of trouble ever hitting this stall. I really recommend using this tool, it allows for Kirby to stay on the edge which is a good thing and if an opponent gets hasty you can hop up with your invincibility frames and get in a dair/fair, or even inhale them.

Grabbing: Kirby surprisingly has a better grab range than most characters with actual arms, lucky him! Looks like all that suplex training paid off! His grab game is very good but doesn’t work the same as a lot of characters. I never found jump canceled grabs handy with Kirby, I don’t think it’s needed for him. Boost grabbing apparently is very good but I never understood how the hell to do it but all in all his grab game is great.

Down Throw: This is your goto “I want damage” grab. It doesn’t combo into anymore so no more chaingrabs on floaties or ftilt/usmash at higher percents against some. His fury stomp will put then into a tech chase situation always now unless you’re at the edge which it pops them up more than usual, or they’ll get meteored if they DI away. This is great for building damage if you’re good at tech chasing, and if the opponent misses a tech you can jab reset them for a grounded hammer swing or angled-down forward smash.

Up Throw: This move kills very VERY late so don’t rely on it for a kill throw, Kirby has no kill throws. It’s a good DI mix up though, especially against fast fallers since if they don’t DI away from you, you’re able to confirm into bair/uair. It’s his most so-so throw, I don’t recommend it in most situations unless you want to get to a top platform for whatever reason, which it has the handy ability of allowing you to do. Also you can omnigay with it so that’s cool lol

Forward Throw: A better DI mix up than uthrow. You can waveland out of it after it hits or do uair if they DI wrong. It’s awesome against fast fallers but it works okay against others too. It’s your “most likely to lead into a combo” throw, but nothing is guaranteed with Kirby’s throws.

Back Throw: Suplex your opponent and force them offstage! Really awesome at the edge since it forces an opponent to the worst possible spot against Kirby. This throw is for positioning and getting them into a better spot, either close to the edge or offstage. At earlier percents its nicer just because they don’t go too far and allows for you to have a better chance at following up into some potential gimps.

Jab: It’s fast, it’s a jab. This is reliable for jab resets and poking at people, has OK range despite he has no arms. Jab, jab is decent to go into things like ftilt or dtilt or whatever else you can think of, the timing isn’t too hard. The full jab, Vulcan Punch, is a nice way to just push enemies away from you and add up some damage but it’s more of a “Oh no I messed up my jab jab whatever! Better keep punching until my opponent is away from me so I don’t get punished!”. I recommend after vulcan punch to just wavedash away from your opponent to regain space since it’s kind of unsafe, unless they rolled then dash attack them or something.

Dash Attack: This move is GOOD. Don’t abuse it though, cause your opponent will catch on and start punishing you for it. It has more endlag than in 3.02 now but it’s still a great combo starter/extender. It has three hits, the first two carrying the opponent in and the last one launching. Its ability to go off platforms is also amazing, allowing Kirby to land into the ground with only 5 frames of landlag! It’s MOST safe used like that and can be awesome for dash attacking offstage and hitting an opponent who’s out there.

Sometimes Kirby’s burning tackle will go slow off a platform, and sometimes it’ll go at full speed. In order to do the slow one, dash attack close to the edge of the platform. The fast one is done by doing it at any other point. You can also fast fall with dash attack, so you get a lot of angles and directions you can go when falling with your dash attack. The slow one is better for staying close to where you fell while the fast one is best for going out far and potentially crossing up opponents on stage.

Forward Tilt: Awesome for spacing and a decent combo ender. After things like fair’s first and second hit, ftilt links nicely for example. It can be angled making it reliable to hit with and has nice knockback for putting opponents offstage. On shield if spaced it’s not too unsafe and isn’t too laggy of a move, but it is his laggiest tilt. I really like this move.

Up Tilt: This move got nerfed slightly in 3.5 but it’s still awesome! You mainly use this move after crossing up your opponent or possibly as an anti air. It’s a good combo starter and can lead into itself at lower percents. I don’t recommend utilt utilt utilt, try to end it out with a usmash instead, don’t be lazy! This move is also GREAT on shields if you’re behind the opponent, they have to wait to either be pushed away often or time their OOS option extremely well otherwise their jump will get caught by a utilt.

Down Tilt: One of Kirby’s safest moves, this is really really good for poking against shields especially against those who can’t grab you while you’re crouching. This allows you to pressure your opponent while ducking and being impossible to shield grab in those MUs. On hit it pushes them back which usually inches them towards the edge more which is what you want.

Forward Smash: Fsmash is Kirby’s staple powerful kick! This is his slowest smash move but it has the best range and can be a good mid range punish option. This move is weird in the fact that on angled down or up, you influence their DI to be in that direction a bit too. So an angled down fsmash sends at a steeper angle than angled up. I tested this with Ness, Mario and a bunch of other characters and only Kirby seems to do this? Either way, always angled down fsmash since the angle is far better.

Up Smash: This is a decent anti air move, even if it hits with the flub hitbox. It still does good damage and can be comboed after if the flub hitbox hits (Which it usually does cause damn the sweetspot is small on this move). Sweetspot seems to have very reliable kill power and I find this really awesome to use against floatier or lighter characters as a quick way to end out a stock. Dair -> Usmash does wonders, and usmash against fast fallers is a decent way to combo.

Down Smash: Kirby’s fastest smash attack, the initial hitbox is pretty strong and comes out fast so this move is really good at being a fast punish option. I personally use this smash the least but the late hitbox seems to send at really good angles and cover the edge a bit, seems good for edgeguarding.

Neutral Air: Happy spin! It’s Kirby’s fastest aerial and and awesome out of shield option. The initial hitbox has good knockback for either edegguarding or getting opponents offstage. A falling nair can lead into a dash attack or a fair and the lingering hitbox on this thing is awesome for leniency. This thing is great for combos and great for everything really. This move has an awesome tendency to stage spike, so don’t be afraid to use it offstage too.

Back Air: One of Kirby’s best aerials, this move has a pretty beefy hitbox, hits pretty hard and all around can be comboed into itself at lower percents, or outright kill at higher percents. It’s a really good way to space too and on shield it’s safe from most things if spaced well, especially if hitting the opponent from behind. It’s amazing for edgeguarding and probably your goto aerial offstage.

I highly recommend learning Reverse Aerial Rush (RAR) and using that in conjunction with bair, for it allows for you to approach a lot easier with a bair and opens up a lot more options for combos and neutral game. Also I recommend learning the timing for turn around aerials after Kirby’s double jumps. This allows for you to do confirms such as fair to bair. Or things like nair to a reverse uair. It’s good! Trust me guys!

Forward Air: I really underestimated how good this move was for a long time. It’s incredible for crossing up opponents who are shielding, it usually links into the third hit very well and the third hit is pretty strong! The hitbox on all three kicks are surprisingly beefy so it’s overall pretty good for stopping approaches and poking with. Offstage this move can really mess some recoveries up even if you miss the third hit, though the third hit you definitely want.

Up Air: Somehow it’s not as awesome as it was in melee, but it’s better for combos. It’s hitbox is actually pretty small compared to most of Kirby’s attacks but it hits hard. It’s a good combo tool at earlier percents and kill option at higher percents. The later frames of this have a semispike hitbox behind Kirby which is kind of a big deal. This can gimp certain recoveries or on stage force certain characters into the ground which allows for you to continue your assault on them.

Down Air: Slowest Kirby aerial, but it’s a unique rapid firing meteor drill! This move is really good if it hits, has a pretty big hitbox but it’s pretty easy to meteor cancel it. It’s really good onstage for leading into grab, ftilt, or usmash/dsmash. It’s great offstage for potentially surprisingly your opponent and gimping them, or if they’re percent is high it’s a decently reliable kill against up Bs that don’t go high. If an up B goes high, this move is mostly useless against it unless you fast fall and drag them down with you, but that’s risky!

Overall I think Kirby’s moveset perfectly compliments what he’s supposed to do. This character is really great at capitalizing off of opportunities and getting the most out of them. And in the meanwhile, he’s really good at putting the opponent into situations they don’t want to be in, so they present a moment that Kirby can just take advantage of. Kirby isn’t hard in the aspect of having to push a lot of buttons, or having to have really crazy technical skill. He’s more difficult in the fact that you have to be really observant, keen to your opponent and really know how to get inside their head and make them slip up. You have to be really good at staying on top of your opponent and making them uncomfortable, making them expect certain things out of you but giving them something else. This is how I play Kirby. There are other ways to go about all of this but I think he’s a character that greatly compliments how I play, and that’s awesome because he’s my favorite character ever!

Lastly I want to really start a Kirby skype group so talking about the character in PM is easier, theres a few skype groups for other characters and I think it's about time we had a Kirby one. Add me on skype under Tetraflora. Don't add "Not Tetraflora". Thanks (:
Last edited:


Smash Rookie
Jan 12, 2014
Thanks a bunch, I main kirbs and this guide has already helped me understand him better. I've been waiting for a good kirby guide. I just might check out the skype group. Thanks again for the guide.


Smash Ace
Sep 28, 2013
Middle TN
Cutter dash doesn't take all your jumps now, it saves one. It's much worse for approaching now, as in 3.02 you could do one across/right above the ground and nair right after, but now there's way too much lag. Good write-up overall.


Smash Apprentice
Aug 31, 2002
Thx for the guide. Some good tips in there that I will try to use. Trying to switch from Melee Kirby to Project M Kirby
Dec 20, 2013
Dream Land
A Skype group, you say? Let's do this. :D

Also, I'm fairly certain that most angle-able attacks send at different angles. Kirby's F-Smash just makes it really apparent because of how super special awesome strong it is.
Last edited:


Jun 12, 2013
Really great guide! I was actually thinking of doing one but its way better someone like you with actual credentials did one lol. You mentioned a lot of things most people would just overlook or consider useless. You really analyzed his moveset well. Idk if you want, but talk about some things like correct shield pressure, how valuable crouch is besides ducking grabs, wavedash ducking, up-smash ducking, movement and mindgames, and stuff like that.
Last edited:


Smash Journeyman
Apr 12, 2005
@ Tetraflora Tetraflora

Jump cancel grab is very strong with Kirby, and is way better than the dash grab. Not only does JC grab have very surprising range but it starts up 2 frames faster than dash grab and recovers 8 frames faster. I highly recommend mastering this for any Kirby player.


Smash Apprentice
Aug 13, 2014
Really amazing guide. I should defiantly use more of kirby's kit especially the cutter spike and hammer. Also I disagree with you saying kirby's up tilt got nerfed. Sure they made it laggier, but there are now iasa frames meaning that all you can't really do is spam the move to combo it into itself and now you have better followups with any other move. Also, it now however sends them up at a near 90 degree angle and sends them up lower making it much more reliable to follow up (especially on floaties) and near the ledge it sets up edge guards easier than it did before. Overall, great guide.
Jul 28, 2014
Can you go into a little more detail on stages? I take it I should strike FD and counterpick Battlefield, but where else should I go when BF is struck/banned, and what else should I strike besides FD?

Also, are copy powers ever worth it in any matchups or is Inhale too good to give up? I guess at the very least there's no harm in copying Dedede.


Smash Rookie
Sep 21, 2012
I've been waiting a long time for something like this. I didn't even know you could use Final Cutter like that lol. Thank you soooooooo much.


Smash Journeyman
Sep 5, 2010
All I have to say is Falco Kirby is busted lol SHDL with Falco's lasers is ridiculous, although it's hard to inhale a good Falco.