Remember that this is tentative! If you have any thoughts or critiques, feel free to share them in the comments section, and I may revise the list with your perspective in mind. This is version 0.4.0, so if an update has occurred, it may not be accurate.
One more note before the list – I cannot judge Mega Counter or Grab Suplex, so if you have it, be sure to comment where you think it goes and the reasons therein. Thanks!
S Slide Kick – Probably the best move in the game. It can be used to interrupt almost any attack, dodge projectiles, lead into combos, close distance, and hit the opponent otg (on the ground). A four-second burn time makes this card quick to cycle as well. While it does not deal much damage, it doesn’t have to because its jack-of-all-trades status makes it a staple to almost every deck.
A+ Triple Kick (Mars exclusive) – Triple Kick is one of the top moves in the game for both its damage and utility. Triple Kick ducks under all punching moves, including Mega Punch. This makes it a completely safe punish for knockback, uppercut, and so on. Triple Kick also deals a whopping amount of damage if all three kicks hit. This move is a staple to almost every Mars deck for these factors. Despite a burn time of 5 seconds, Triple Kick is too good to pass up.
A+ Mirror Kick (Finn exclusive) – Mirror Kick is definitely one of the better moves in the game. It can be used both as a melee attack for decent damage and as a way to reflect projectiles without needing to waste a block. This move is also very quick and can even hit between Cyclone hits, and with perfect timing, it can even interrupt Triple Kick. It also has a low burn time of 4 seconds, and can even hit otg. Expect Mirror Kick to definitely push Finn back up there with Mars. Such a large utility-based move is difficult to pass up.
A+ Healbot – Healbot is one of the only non-damaging cards in the game. It spawns a flying robot that can only be damaged by pulse in the 15 seconds that it is in the arena. The robot heals x amount of hp per second, at the first level, healing 10 hp per second, the second heals 20 hp per second. The special cost is fairly low, costing 600 special charge. This means that it can be used multiple times in a round, allowing for large amounts of hp gain. While it takes up a move slot of a damaging move, and, at lower levels, heals less than other specials damage, the hp gain generally outweighs the damage in the long run. It fits best in a deck that can deal consistent damage. Healbot does not heal during the opponent’s special move, but still loses lifespan. This extra survivability, and low cancel time (it spawns almost as quickly as mortarbot) means that it is a very good special move to have. The move scales extremely well because 10 health heal per second means a 150 total healing increase. (Thanks to BlacHusk for all the information)
A Fireball – Fireball is pretty much the go-to projectile in any build. It deals high damage and cycles quickly because of its four-second burn time. It has the possibility to hit otg as well off of Dragon Uppercut. However, it travels slowly, allowing for easy blocks, and can be reflected or caught. Despite these factors, fireball is included in almost every deck because of its projectile status and utility, such as rolling out of attacks, or punishing an opponent with a queued-up move.
A Doppelganger – Doppelganger creates a shadow duplicate behind your opponent. This duplicate copies all of your active moves with a slight delay, and can potentially use a few moves before your character uses the first. It appears almost instantaneously, and can activate all the same effects of moves, but deals less damage. That means double stun from Knockback or double Mortarbot. However, if your character is damaged at all (even while blocking) the double disappears. This has great potential despite limited damage and allows for easy combos if timed correctly. (Thanks to AfoInvnt for all the information)
A- Knockback – While this move is very slow to start, its damage and stun opportunity make it too good to pass up. The stun can lead to combos, and potentially, megas. Despite the long startup, the four second burn time makes it a little less risky even if it misses. It almost completely breaks blocks, so the only safe way to punish it is use a move with shorter startup frames, which can be blocked. I include Knockback in every one of my decks. The stun duration is just too good to pass up.
A- Mega Punch –Despite dealing only 40 damage more than Mega Fireball, Mega Punch comes out much quicker and is an almost guaranteed hit, making it a much safer option. This move comes out faster than almost every other move in the game. High special cost is a drawback, but between the two starting specials, it is (in most cases) the better option.
B+ Dragon Uppercut – A slow move with large damage, Dragon Uppercut does not seem to have much potential at first. Dragon Uppercut traverses the stage, which allows for quick gap closes, and can be easily active frame blocked, which means that you can hold block during the move to take reduced damage. This makes it a slow but safe option, except on opponent’s blocks. While it does have large recovery frames at the end, the moves’ power and utility and otg combo potential makes up for most of it.
B+ Dart (Mia exclusive) – Very fast travelling and deals a medium amount of damage, Dart is the second-safest projectile in the game. However, it lacks the damage Fireball has and doesn’t give a roll to escape the opponent quicker. This move is included in many Mia builds for its quick damage potential and low burn time of 4 seconds, allowing for quick cycling of cards. The damage buff and decreased recovery frames in v.0.4.0 doesn’t add much for the Dart, but it will allow it to possibly see more consistent play on Mia builds.
B Cyclone – With Uppercut’s transformation into Dragon Uppercut, Cyclone will see a lot more play because of its speed and medium damage output. Now, it cannot be interrupted by one of the most common cards in the game, which makes Cyclone a decent addition to any deck. Cyclone’s quick startup time allows for easy punishes, and it is good against blocks, forcing some opponents to eat the ending hits. The recovery frames, while still long, can be block-canceled if your opponent has another move ready, making this move a generally safe option. Mega Punch can still hit in-between hits, along with Slide Kick and Triple Kick, but with Finn seeing more play, Cyclone may become a staple in many decks.
B Throw – One of the only two moves that can’t be blocked, Throw is very useful to catch your opponent off guard, and put them otg, allowing for many follow-ups. Throw does have a long burn time of 8 seconds, but the utility provided makes up for the long cooldown. A staple in many decks, but not crucial to many builds, Throw is a solid card choice. However, it is very slow, slower than even knockback. I would recommend using throw during an opponent’s block, or up close when they cannot react quickly enough to the card.
B Break Kick – A very slow move with medium damage, this move would be ranked much lower without its main draw. Break Kick allows for instant get-up, which helps avoid massive amounts of otg damage. In fact, I do not recommend using this move except for otg damage or otg getaway because it is slow enough that the opponent can walk backwards at the start of it, and avoid damage altogether. Break Kick does have a bug, in which it may not hit off of Throw. However, instant getup makes this move a staple for most decks.
B- Mega Fireball – Not the best choice in terms of specials, but Mega Fireball has utility to provide. While it does travel slowly, and can possibly only deal the first hit’s damage, it costs less special, and deals about the same amount of damage as mega punch. While it can be avoided or blocked easier, along with being cancelled in the air by many moves, it can block any projectile in the game. This blockage allows for more damaging projectiles to be negated by Mega Fireball without wasting a block. Mega Fireball is best used defensively, it can easily be punished if used in an offensive playstyle. Mega Fireball has been moved up because it is seeing some high-level play in NA.
C+ Triple Punch (Finn exclusive) – Triple Punch is a tough card to judge. On one hand, it deals a lot of damage and leaves the opponent otg, but on the other hand, opponents can block or even attack between hits, making it less safe than Mars’ Triple Kick. However, if used after a Knockback, Triple Punch can be very punishing. Oftentimes, I would argue that a better move can be found, but in certain scenarios, Triple Punch can leave the opponent reeling.
C+ Pulse – Pulse?, you might be asking. Yes, Pulse. Pulse’s damage buff wasn’t the only thing that changed. It seems to hit much more reliably now, and also does otg damage. Pulse also destroys Mortarbot and Healbot quicker, which is always a bonus. It also now consistently cancels all projectiles – even Mega Fireball. While Pulse doesn’t deal the most damage, it definitely has utility that makes it a hard counter to any ranged build, and can also be played reliably against a more melee-esque build.
C Grenade (Mars exclusive) – Grenade packs a serious punch, and is one of the most powerful moves in the game. However, Grenade can be easily avoided, and can even be walked under. That combined with the longer burn time of the move make Grenade an inferior option to Fireball. The high arch does allow for good corner pressure and possible otg hits off of Dragon Uppercut (Thanks Captain Falcon) However, with the recent nerf of Electricity into Grenade, and the nerf on Grenade’s base damage, Grenade has fallen quite considerably. Grenade’s main draw is damage, and if you want a high risk, high reward deck, this is the card for you.
C Smoke Bomb (Mia exclusive) – Smoke Bomb is a unique card, in that it doesn’t deal damage. It stuns the opponent briefly and allows Mia to traverse right next to her opponent, or to the far reaches of the screen. This move, while not as impressive at lower levels, becomes much more useful as the stun duration increases, eventually leading into harder-hitting moves such as Knockback. This move’s quick getaway option also allows for a hasty retreat from a bad situation. This move is not a safe hit at lower levels, but will hopefully scale into a force to be reckoned with.
D+ Jumping Fireball – Jumping Fireball provides the same utility as Fireball, in that it is a projectile, but is significantly riskier because of the jump at the beginning, which adds startup frames to the move. It deals no more damage than Fireball and also has 1 second more in terms of burn time. In almost every case, Fireball, Dart, and Grenade outclass this projectile. However, Jumping Fireball is good to avoid lower attacks, but even this little bit of added utility cannot compete with the unsafe start of the move, especially at close distances.
D+ Mortarbot – Mortarbot is very good with zoning and disrupting an opponent’s sense of flow. However, it can be easily avoided with movement, and can be reflected as well. Mortarbot also does not deal damage during an opponent’s special move. Despite these flaws, and an eight second burn time, Mortarbot is good with disrupting projectiles, and in some cases, can provide a clutch hit that turns the tide of the battle. However, the card slot that Mortarbot takes up can oftentimes have a better card included. This has recently been moved down because of Pulse buffs, which now destroy Mortarbot easier. Another reflection card has also been added into the game, which combats Mortarbot quite effectively.
D+ Counter – A move really only good to surprise easily predictable opponents, Counter suffers in the fact that it stops player-enabled movement. Counter does deal a lot of damage and shifts momentum, but it is much less useful than Throw, requiring an unaware opponent to attack. It does do well against a faster playstyle and combo moves, but suffers against projectile attacks and aware opponents. Pretty much all of the time, I would choose a different move.
D+ Elbow Strike (Finn exclusive) – Very fast, one of the fastest moves in the game, Elbow Strike deals very little damage, and leaves the opponent otg for less time than uppercut. If speed is what you’re after, Elbow Strike is a decent card, but in almost all other cases, it is outclassed by other moves. It does have a shorter burn time than many cards, but that isn’t enough to make it better than them. This has been moved up due to increased play in v.0.4.0.
D Catch (Mars exclusive) – Catch suffers almost the same problem as Reflect. And then, it requires a block as well. While the caught projectile always hits (even through block), it leaves Mars vulnerable at the end of the move. With the recent nerf of Grenadify, Catch might not see much play. Besides, Mirror Kick reflects as well, which gives Finn an exclusive reflect option better than Catch.
D Stomp – Stomp is not necessarily a great card. It deals a medium amount of damage, and has a really large startup time. In fact, Stomp is beaten by Throw, and barely is faster than Break Kick, making it one of the slowest moves in the game. The three-second burn time does not compensate for mediocre damage and risky play. Stomp was really only crucial for a few otg decks, and with otg falling out of the meta because of Dragon Uppercut’s increased startup time, Stomp may fall even further soon.
D- Reflect – Reflect could be a lot better than what it is now. Reflect reflects projectiles, but it has the downside of its burn time starting after the move ends, taking up a card slot for quite a while. It also does not always reflect projectiles, especially those that land outside the shield. This is good to counter projectile-heavy builds, but against builds with few projectiles, it suffers terribly. Besides, Mirror Kick outclasses Reflect in almost every way.
D- Scorpion Kick – It could be soooooo good, but as of now, Scorpion Kick is not. It deals little damage, has higher burn time than more damaging cards, and is easy to block, or punish with a faster card. The only thing Scorpion Kick really has going for it is the ability to escape a corner by flipping over the opponent.
D- Hook – A pretty bad card, Hook is mainly used to confirm a Grenade hit, but it does little beyond that. It also can link into a Mega Punch, but the opponent can still interrupt the combo with a well-placed block or quick move. Very little damage, and a pretty much guaranteed punish for the opponent means Hook is too risky to use often.
F+ Electrify – Electrify was just nerfed to oblivion with the v.0.4.0 update. Electrify now scales to 1.25 damage instead of 2.0, and it does not charge special. Seeing that Electrify was really only used to buff really high-damaging moves like Grenade and Triple Kick, Electrify’s days of stardom are probably over. Electrify keeps the pull and a smaller damage ratio, but it just isn’t enough to justify use.
F Windmill – Huge endlag, Windmill deals little damage and is very easy to punish. It leaves you so vulnerable that any move after it is a guaranteed hit – even Break Kick.