What if SSB4 had MKX/MK11's Variation System using it's Custom Moves?


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
I have been reminiscing on the old SSB4 custom moves craziness. During my days of playing SSB4 3DS, I have been fooling around with custom moves for a long time, trying out different combinations. It was pretty fun to play with, although it is obvious on why they are banned after the first year of the game (pain of unlocking them, too much variance, & some absurd moves).

At the same time, for the past year, I have been watching a lot of other FGC games go around. Something that interests me is the MKX/MK11 variation system: the ability to have most of the character's base moves, but also change around special moves in order for a very different gameplay experience with the same character.

This is where I wonder: what if SSB4 had the variation system, using the custom moves already in the game?
  1. It would be three variations, the first one being all the default moves, and the 2nd & 3rd ones be filled in by the other custom moves.
  2. If this was a thing, there would theoretically be no need to unlock them, as they would be unlocked from the start. Having each individual variations locked away will be like straight up locking away characters, but to a significantly larger and more annoying scale.
  3. This would also fix the variance issue, as there would be only three moveset sets to worry about per character.
Now I know that there was an "Official Custom Moveset Project", but in hindsight, is was both too varied and too messy.

Below here are three different examples I like to show to give off a good idea of what I am thinking:
Variation 1: "Protector of the Jungle" -------> Giant Punch (1), Headbutt (1), Spinning Kong (1), Hand Slap (1)
Variation 2: "Flying Monkey" ----------------> Storm Punch (3), Jumping Headbutt (2), Kong Cyclone (3), Hot Slap (3)
Variation 3: "Kong of Thunder" --------------> Lightning Punch (2), Stubborn Headbutt (3), Chopper Kong (2), Focused Slap (2)

As you can see here, I try to group each custom move with eachother in a way that is thematically correct.
Variation 2 involves DK's mobility in the air, using the wind based neutral B and up B, while using the side B and down B that has the power to catch opponents in the air.
Variation 3 involves the use of lightning and power, using the thunder based neutral B and down B, while using the stronger side B. I also threw in the second up B, as it is the only one left, but it doesn't technically interfere with the theme of the variation.
I am also assuming that with the focus on variations, each custom move would be rebalanced. Without the rebalancing, variation 2 would be the obvious choice everytime for DK.

Variation 1: "Space Mercenary" -------------> Blaster (1), Fox Illusion (1), Fire Fox (1), Reflector (1)
Variation 2: "Slippy's New Toys" ------------> Impact Blaster (2), Fox Burst (2), Flying Fox (2), Big Reflector (2)
Variation 3: "Wild Instincts" -----------------> Charge Blaster (3), Wolf Flash (3), Twisting Fox (3), Amplifying Reflector (3)

Variation 2 involves using a modified version of his default moveset, including his Smash 64 Blaster.
Variation 3 is the obvious Wolf variation, as Wolf is not the game so they gave of version of Wolf's special moveset to Fox.

Variation 1: "Boy from Onett" ---------------> PK Flash (1), PK Fire (1), PK Thunder (1), PSI Magnet (1)
Variation 2: "The Mind Unleashed" ---------> Rising PK Flash (2), PK Bonfire (2), Rolling PK Thunder (3), PSI Vacuum (2)
Variation 3: "Feeling of Love" ---------------> PK Freeze (3), PK Fire Burst (3), Lasting PK Thunder (2), Forward PSI Magnet (3)

Variation 2 involves Ness using the strongest, in terms of power, version of each of his moves, or different versions of his default moveset.
Variation 3 is the obvious Lucas variation, as Lucas wasn't in the game initially so they gave of version of Lucas' special moveset to Ness.

Custom moves as a whole, in SSB4, had huge missed potential. It could've been something big for the evolution of Smash Bros as a whole, but they missed the mark. They could've potentially capitalized on it in Ultimate, by fixing a lot of aforementioned issues with it, but instead it is only relegated to the Mii Fighters, which is fine since it is just three characters and the moves are all given from the start.

I will continue providing variations like this, but I like to see how you guys can do it as well, as well as suggestions. I will also do :ultmiifighters: as well, both in SSB4 and Ultimate.


Smash Ace
Mar 25, 2020
Pokemon Stadium 2
This would have been a far better way to go about it. Only three movesets to learn per character, no gargantuan unlock requirements, and they could better balance them this way, too. l wish customs had come back for Ultimate because they had potential, but I'll gladly take ever veteran returning over customs any day.


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
I might as well add a few more:

Variation 1: "Mr. Video Game" -------------> Fireball (1), Cape (1), Super Jump Punch (1), F.L.U.D.D. (1)
Variation 2: "Superstar" --------------------> Fast Fireball (2), Gust Cape (3), Super Jump (2), Scalding F.L.U.D.D. (2)
Variation 3: "Fire Within" -------------------> Fire Orb (3), Shocking Cape (2), Explosive Punch (3), High-Pressure F.L.U.D.D. (3)

Variation 2 is his more quicker moves.
Variation 3 involves his slower, but stronger moves. Most of which involves more fire, hence the name of the variation.

Variation 1: "Miracle Cure" -----------------> Megavitamins (1), Super Sheet (1), Super Jump Punch (1), Dr. Tornado (1)
Variation 2: "Quick Prescription" -----------> Fast Capsule (2), Breezy Sheet (3), Super Jump (2), Soaring Tornado (2)
Variation 3: "Unlicensed Doctor" -----------> Mega Capsule (3), Shocking Sheet (2), Ol' One-Two (3), Clothesline Tornado (3)

Structured very similarly to Mario.
Now the down B versions is where my point of custom move rebalancing comes in play. Clothesline Tornado is designed to be the less distanced, but more powerful version of the move. However, due to how hilariously weak the first hit is, it doesn't do a good job of doing that. Soaring Tornado, the version designed to be the weaker, but more distanced version, is ridiculously powerful while providing more distance, so this obviously needs some direct rebalancing in order to fix this distinction.

Variation 1: "Hero of Twilight" --------------> Hero's Bow (1), Gale Boomerang (1), Spin Attack (1), Bomb (1)
Variation 2: "Man of Many Gadgets" -------> Power Bow (2), Rippling Boomerang (3), Shocking Spin (2), Giant Bomb (2)
Variation 3: "Triforce of Courage" ----------> Quickfire Bow (3), Boomerang (2), Whirling Leap (3), Meteor Bomb (3)

Variation 2 is the special moves assigned to be slower but stronger.
Variation 3 is the opposite, assigning moves that are faster but weaker. Assigning Boomerang to variation 3 is also a nod to 64 and Melee Link, in that Ocarina of Time Link wields the Triforce of Courage like most other incarnations of Link.

Variation 1: "The Electric Mouse" -----------> Thunder Jolt (1), Skull Bash (1), Quick Attack (1), Thunder (1)
Variation 2: "Nimble as Pichu" --------------> Thunder Wave (2), Shocking Skull Bash (2), Quick Feet (3), Distant Thunder (2)
Variation 3: "Strong as Raichu" -------------> Thunder Shock (3), Heavy Skull Bash (3), Meteor Quick Attack (2), Thunder Burst (3)

Up B was tricky to assign. While Pichu in Melee uses the two Quick Attack system, it does not travel less distance than Pikachu's, which is what Meteor Quick Attack does, so I stood with the quickness theme.

Variation 1: "The Green Powerhouse" ------> Fireball (1), Green Missile (1), Super Jump Punch (1), Luigi Cyclone (1)
Variation 2: "Eternal Understudy" -----------> Bouncing Fireball (3), Quick Missile (2), Fiery Jump Punch (2), Clothesline Cyclone (3)
Variation 3: "Expert on Exorcism" -----------> Ice Ball (2), Floating Missile (3), Burial Header (3), Mach Cyclone (2)

I had fun assigning Luigi's custom moves to variations.
Variation 2 is simply a different version of Luigi's default special moves. The title "Eternal Understudy" is a nice nod to his Melee unlock screen, and it works well since this variation has Mario's Fireballs.
Variation 3 dives deep into the ghostly side. Floating Missile and Mach Cyclone resembles the floatier nature of ghosts. The use of ice is a tool Luigi can use in the Luigi's Mansion games to help suck up ghosts easier, or catch certain ones. Burial Header is chosen since it is the weird version of up B.

Variation 1: "Way of the Sheikah" -----------> Needle Storm (1), Burst Grenade (1), Vanish (1), Bouncing Fish (1)
Variation 2: "Wandering Guide" -------------> Penetrating Needles (2), Skimming Grenade (3), Gale (2), Jellyfish (2)
Variation 3: "The Secret Sage" ---------------> Paralyzing Needle (3), Gravity Grenade (2), Abyss (3), Pisces (3)

Variation 2 involves more movement-based special moves, emphasis on "Wandering Guide".
Variation 3 involves some unique special, magical properties of her default special moveset.

Variation 1: "The Hero-King" ----------------> Shield Breaker (1), Dancing Blade (1), Dolphin Slash (1), Counter (1)
Variation 2: "Fallen Prince of Altea" ---------> Dashing Assault (3), Effortless Blade (2), Dolphin Jump (3), Easy Counter (2)
Variation 3: "Dragon Killer" ------------------> Storm Thrust (2), Heavy Blade (3), Crescent Slash (2), Iai Counter (3)

Marth's variations are a bit tricky to associate custom moves with.
Variation 2 involves the will to push forward and stay evasive.
Variation 3 involves putting utilizing Marth's most powerful moves, in terms of power, as if he is using all of his strength to fend off a dragon.

Variation 1: "Princess of Ylisse" -------------> Shield Breaker (1), Dancing Blade (1), Dolphin Slash (1), Counter (1)
Variation 2: "Doomed Future" --------------> Dashing Assault (3), Effortless Blade (2), Dolphin Jump (3), Easy Counter (2)
Variation 3: "Imposter" ----------------------> Storm Thrust (2), Heavy Blade (3), Crescent Slash (2), Iai Counter (3)

Identical to Marth's variations, just named differently.

Variation 1: "King of Darkness" -------------> Warlock Punch (1), Flame Choke (1), Dark Dive (1), Wizard's Foot (1)
Variation 3: "True Ruler of Twilight" ---------> Warlock Blade (2), Flame Chain (3), Dark Vault (3), Wizard's Assault (3)
Variation 2: "Triforce of Power" -------------> Warlock Thrust (3), Flame Wave (2), Dark Fists (2), Wizard's Dropkick (2)

Variation 2 utilizes elements from Ganondorf's Twilight Princess appearance. He now utilizes the sword he uses within that game. In addition, the variation of side B used for this variation somewhat resembles the way he kills the Sage of Water from Twilight Princess as well.
Variation 3 uses the more powerful, resourceful aspects of Ganondorf's magic abilities. This variation notably has the powerful Dark Fists and Wizard's Dropkick custom moves, although, again, each custom move would be rebalanced in the transition to variations.

Variation 1: "The Blue Bomber" --------------> Metal Blade (1), Crash Bomber (1), Rush Coil (1), Leaf Shield (1)
Variation 2: "Powered Up" -------------------> Shadow Blade (3), Ice Slasher (2), Tornado Hold (2), Plant Barrier (3)
Variation 3: "Everlasting Peace" --------------> Hyper Bomb (2), Danger Wrap (3), Beat (3), Skull Barrier (2)

Variation 2 uses the custom moves that best resembles his default moveset. There is, of course, notable variance due to how varied Mega Man's custom moves are in general, but there are some that clearly resembles the default moveset than others.
Variation 3 uses more unique versions of each of the default moveset, to the point that they function entirely differently, aside from the down B of course.

I might as well get all the DLC characters out of the way, since they don't have any custom moves.

Variation 1: "The Genetic Pokemon" ----------> Shadow Ball (1), Confusion (1), Teleport (1), Disable (1)

Variation 1: "Boy from Nowhere" --------------> PK Freeze (1), PK Fire (1), PK Thunder (1), PSI Magnet (1)

Variation 1: "The Young Lion" ------------------> Flare Blade (1), Double-Edge Dance (1), Blazer (1), Counter (1)

Variation 1: "Wandering Warrior" --------------> Hadoken (1), Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (1), Shoryuken (1), Focus Attack (1)

Variation 1: "SOLDIER 1st Class" ----------------> Blade Beam (1), Cross Slash (1), Climhazzard (1), Limit Charge / Finishing Touch (1)

Variation 1: "Blood of Dragons" ----------------> Dragon Fang Shot (1), Dragon Lunge (1), Dragon Ascent (1), Counter Surge (1)

Variation 1: "Umbra Witch" ----------------------> Bullet Climax (1), Heel Slide / After Burner Kick (1), Witch Twist (1), Witch Time (1)
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Smash Journeyman
Jul 10, 2017
like the idea
if anything i think if customs were easier to obtain and were balanced for 1 on 1 play this could've been adopted into SSB4 competitively

games like Street Fighter you get to choose what Super/Ultra your character uses, this expands on that

understandable but kinda hurts DLC couldn't get them

my ideas for :4ryu: customs

(1) Hadoken
(2) Denjin Hadoken: multi hit with electric properties
(3) Big Hadoken: bigger but slower

(1) Shoryuken
(2) Metsu Shoryuken: multi hit starts w/ elbow jab slower but stronger
(3) Wind Shoryuken: non damaging greater height than other shoryuken but has windbox, can push opponents away

(1) Tatsumaki
(2) Shinku Tatsumaki: multi hit also has windbox pulls opponents in but Ryu is stationery
(3) Ascending Tatsumaki: multi hit that travels vertically

Focus Attack
(1) Focus Attack
(2) Focus Dash: takes damage from an close ranged attack but moves past opponent
(3) Alpha Counter: upon blocking an opponent's attack a streak of lightning appears and Ryu counters with an uppercut or a leg sweep
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Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
I am in a mood to do some more.

Variation 1: "Bounty Hunter" -------------------> Charge Shot (1), Missile (1), Screw Attack (1), Bomb (1)
Variation 2: "Upgraded Suit" --------------------> Dense Charge Shot (2), Turbo Missile (3), Screw Rush (2), Mega Bomb (3)
Variation 3: "Galactic Avenger" -----------------> Melee Charge Shot (3), Relentless Missile (2), Apex Screw Attack (3), Slip Bomb (2)

Variation 2 is basically moves that seem like the direct power upgrades from variation 1.
Variation 3 dips into the moves that change the properties and visuals of her moves the most, best seen in Melee Charge Shot and Apex Screw Attack.

Variation 1: "The Warrior Within" ---------------> Paralyzer (1), Plasma Whip (1), Boost Kick (1), Flip Jump (1)
Variation 2: "Chozo Raised" ---------------------> Electromagnetic Net (3), Whip Lash (3), Lateral Kick (3), Low Kick (3)
Variation 3: "Galactic Enforcer" -----------------> Blast Shot (2), Plasma Dash (2), Impact Kick (2), Shooting Star Flip Kick (2)

Follows a similar formula to Samus' variations: variation 2 is the ones directly related to her default moveset, while variation 3 has the new, strange twists to her default moveset.

Variation 1: "Hardy Dino" ------------------------> Egg Lay (1), Egg Roll (1), Egg Throw (1), Yoshi Bomb (1)
Variation 2: "Caretaker of the Year" -------------> Lick (2), Light Egg Roll (3), High Jump (2), Star Bomb (2)
Variation 3: "Eggcellent" -------------------------> Egg Launch (3), Heavy Egg Roll (2), Timed Egg Throw (3), Crushing Bomb (3)

Variation 2 signifies the more "gentle" of his custom moves.
Variation 3 signifies the more powerful versions of his default moveset. I made sure to put Lick in variation 2, as it doesn't make sense to have the neutral B version that doesn't encase opponents in eggs in the variation called "Eggcellent".

Variation 1: "Captain of the Royal Guard" -------> Palutena Bow (1), Upperdash Arm (1), Power of Flight (1), Guardian Orbitars (1)
Variation 2: "Champion of Skyworld" ------------> Guiding Bow (3), Interception Arm (2), Breezy Flight (3), Amplifying Orbitars (3)
Variation 3: "Vile Gods Tremble" -----------------> Piercing Bow (2), Quickdash Arm (3), Striking Flight (2), Impact Orbitars (2)

Variation 2 uses more utility-based special moves, fitting from someone from Skyworld.
Variation 3 is Pit's more offensive versions of his default special moves. The evil Gods of Kid Icarus: Uprising will tremble to this variation.

Variation 1: "The Flawed Doppelganger" -------> Silver Bow (1), Electroshock Arm (1), Power of Flight (1), Guardian Orbitars (1)
Variation 2: "Two Sides, Same Coin" ------------> Guiding Bow (3), Electrocut Arm (2), Breezy Flight (3), Amplifying Orbitars (3)
Variation 3: "No Divinity Needed" --------------> Piercing Bow (2), Quickshock Arm (3), Striking Flight (2), Impact Orbitars (2)

Identical to Pit's variations, just named differently.
I am quite proud of my variation naming of Dark Pit though.
"The Flawed Doppelganger" is a play-on with his Kid Icarus: Uprising idol description: "The flawed clone of Pit".
"Two Sides, Same Coin" references his' and Pit's special bond, where their existence is tied together.
"No Divinity Needed" references Dark Pit's desire to fight only for himself.

Variation 1: "Ninja Frog Pokemon" -------------> Water Shuriken (1), Shadow Sneak (1), Hydro Pump (1), Substitute (1)
Variation 2: "Aqua-jitsu" ------------------------> Stagnant Shuriken (2), Shadow Dash (3), High-Capacity Pump (2), Exploding Attack (2)
Variation 3: "Master of Stealth" -----------------> Shifting Shuriken (3), Shadow Strike (2), Single-Shot Pump (3), Substitute Ambush (3)

Variation 2 involves a focus on water-based moves, including the stronger neutral B and up B, and less of a focus on stealth, which is why the version of side B and down B is selected.
Variation 3 involves a focus on stealth, emphasis on the more longer duration side B and down B, and less of a focus on water, which is why the version of neutral B and up B is selected.

Variation 1: "Goddess of Light" ----------------> Autoreticle (1), Reflect Barrier (1), Warp (1), Counter (1)
Variation 2: "Divine Intervention" --------------> Explosive Flame (2), Angelic Missile (2), Jump Glide (2), Lightweight (2)
Variation 3: "Purification" -----------------------> Heavenly Light (3), Super Speed (3), Rocket Jump (3), Celestial Firework (3)

Variation 2 puts a focus on burst options and speed.
Variation 3 puts a focus on more "heavenly" moves.
The most important part of assigning Palutena's custom moves, is to make sure Super Speed and Lightweight are not part of the same variation. Even if both moves end up getting nerfed in the transition to variations, which is likely, the combination of both is too fundamentally powerful that will make the variation with both of them too centralizing, making the other variations irrelevant.

Variation 1: "Commander of the Koopas" ------> Clown Cannon (1), Clown Kart Dash (1), Abandon Ship! (1), Mechakoopa (1)
Variation 2: "Young and Dangerous" -----------> Air Cannon (3), Grounding Dash (3), Koopa Meteor (3), Impatient Mechakoopa (2)
Variation 3: "The Entire Arsenal" ----------------> Piercing Cannon (2), Koopa Drift (2), Meteor Ejection (2), Big Mechakoopa (3)

I named Bowser Jr.'s variations in a way that makes sense for all the Koopalings.
Variation 2 has the custom moves I feel that fit the name of the variation the best.
Variation 3 has the custom moves that involves the stronger versions of each of his moves. Clown Cannon is technically weaker than the default, but it was between that and Air Cannon, which doesn't shoot a cannon at all, thus not fitting the theme of the variation.
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