One of Joker's biggest strengths is his frame data. Many of Joker's attacks possess fast startup and, with the exception of his smash attacks, low ending lag. This synergizes well with his excellent mobility and thin hurtbox since a lot of his attacks can cross up on shield or just cross up on opponents in general thanks to this. Due to his quick overall mobility, low-knockback attacks, and frame data, Joker possesses a strong and varied combo game. He has several moves in his toolkit to start combos at low percents, such as his up and down throws, a late down tilt, up tilt, his Grappling Hook, the first hit of his forward aerial and the looping hits of up aerial. Some of these combo starters last well into later percentages. Joker also possesses among the best grab frame data (comparable to that of Mario), which makes him especially adept at punishing shields (particularly from empty jumps).
Joker's aerial game is comparably effective as his grounded game, with a variety of different options at his disposal. Back aerial serves as Joker's most versatile aerial, functioning as his best defensive aerial due to its effectiveness out of shield, as a spacing tool due to its good range, and as his best aerial pressuring and KOing move thanks to its very low lag. Both forward and up aerials are among his best combo moves, the former's first hit leading into other moves due to its high base knockback, most notably granting him a kill confirm, whereas the latter's looping hits can set up for another grab at medium percentages or an up or down smash at high ones. Both moves' finishing hits also serve as good combo finishers outside of these ranges, with forward aerial also leading into RAR back aerial, and up aerial putting the opponent in the perfect position to be hit by Grappling Hook they do not react in time. Up aerial can also serve as a useful anti-air move and is Joker's fastest out of shield option, making him surprisingly harder to cross-up. Neutral and down aerials have the slowest startup of his aerial moves, although they have decently low landing lag and can lead to other moves when used appropriately. Neutral aerial, in particular, has the best range and combo ability of the two, both covering a wide area around Joker and sending at a high enough angle for followups. It's also Joker's best crossup tool, allowing him to pressure shields and be safe against most opponents if he manages to land behind them.
Serves as one of Joker's best spacing tools, having excellent range around him due to its wide coverage, though it has a very small hitbox located on the knife and the lack of shield pressure can make it risky when used carelessly. It also autocancels late, only doing so in a double jump. On a hit, it can lead to combos from down tilt, and it can condition the opponent into blocking making it good for granting grab opportunities.
However, opinions regarding Joker's viability improved significantly after MkLeo, the best Ultimate player in the world, started using the character. MkLeo utilized Joker's quick movement, remarkable frame data, combos such as the drag-down combos, and the powerful advantage state of Arsène to place in the top 2 at every tournament he has attended since MomoCon 2019. Thanks to MkLeo's success, several other top players have picked up Joker as a secondary or co-main. Most notably, Zackray had used Joker as a co-main to win several Japanese nationals and a supermajor and was considered to be the best player in Japan during the early metagame. Due to their success, many top players have named Joker as the single best character in the game. 59ce067264