Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Why Donkey Kong is so powerful

Donkey Kong Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

… And we’re back! It’s time for my second batch of articles breaking down why certain characters in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster are just so dang strong. But before we start, I want to reiterate that all the fighters in Ultimate are broken in their own way. So much so that Nintendo mostly just buffs them more and more each patch. (By the way, patch 2.0 is out.)

They’re all special little snowflakes, especially if they’re played by someone who “mains” them. But some characters just have a wider range of tools at their disposal. One such character is Donkey Kong, the first member of the DK crew. And if any of my ultra-nerd words confuse you, we’ve got a lexicon of the most important terms here.

DK at his finest

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Donkey Kong Powerful

Surprisingly, all the heavies in this game are much more viable than in previous titles, DK included. He’s just as destructive, but almost every move of his has been improved upon in some way. This Kong seems to be faster, with tons of armor on his attacks. Those are really the most prominent differences. But he already had the raw power in previous games, and these little changes let him unleash the beast.

This most likely has to do with the increased speed of Ultimate in comparison to Brawl or Smash Bros. for Wii U. Everyone seems to be faster, whether overall or just in some animations. And it seems like the heavies saw the biggest benefit from the speed change, which is not what I would have expected.

Donkey Kong’s toy box of moves

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Donkey Kong Powerful
Donkey Kong’s scary spike In Brawl

First of all, this tie-wearing primate has like a million different ways to meteor smash his opponent. This makes chasing him off the ledge a much bigger risk than expected. His forward air and down air are the most viable ones, each with their own pros and cons. But down special in the air is something to be feared as most people don’t know that it spikes and it’ll catch them unaware.

Secondly, his smashes are absolutely devastating. And yes, I’m talking about the claps. They come out so fast and can KO at absurdly low percentages. Plus, if you combine them with his side special where he buries his opponent, you’ve essentially already won.

All of his tilts are fast and reliable, though none of them seem to be exceedingly better than any other. On top of all that, DK can also shatter shields like it’s his day job. His side special almost breaks a shield at full charge, his smashes take a heavy chunk of it, and his down special chips away at it pretty quickly.

Top-tier material

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Donkey Kong Powerful
DK snapping Captain Falcon’s spine

Basically, this DK is the best version of himself. He hits as hard as before, but now a lot of his moves have power armor on them. He has the recovery, punishes, and combo potential at his disposal, securing him a safe spot in the top of tier lists. All in all, DK is arguably the best heavy at the moment, and whether you agree or disagree, you have to admit this Kong is strong.

What do you think? I haven’t seen a lot of DK players online, but he must be popular. Do you think DK is as strong as I’m making him out to be? Or is this ape not that great? Let us know in the comments below.

Jacob Buchalter
Writer, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, and "geek culture" aficionado. Jake B is an avid art lover based in San Francisco, California who has been hooked on video games and animation since he was just a wee lad.  As one of those so-called "creative types" Jake obsesses over art in any medium, whether it's video games, cartoons, or anime. Ask him about any artist, they're probably already in his bookmarks. Gaming is one of his biggest passions, and an industry he takes seriously.