Mario (マリオ, Mario) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. He was confirmed on June 11th, 2013 during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct. He was also one of the main subjects of the Developer's Direct for Super Smash Bros. later during E3 2013. He was among the first wave of amiibo figurines for SSB4. Mario is once again voiced by Charles Martinet, who also reprises his long-time role as Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi, albeit mostly with the same voice clips from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. 
Mario is currently ranked 5th out of 58 characters on the tier list, in the S tier. This is his best tier placement to date and a vast improvement from his 31st out of 38 ranking Brawl, where he stood at the top of the bottom tier. His primary strength is his polarizing frame data; all of his moves come out extremely fast and have relatively low end lag. This results in Mario having one of the best neutral games in Smash 4, as it is difficult to actually punish him. His combo game, while not as versatile compared to Luigi or Sheik, is nevertheless potent, as Mario can rack up damage quickly and reliably, most notoriously with down throw into multiple up tilts. He also has a versatile moveset: a disruptive projectile in his Fireball, a reflection-based and reverse-based move in his Cape, and a decent but niche edgeguarding option with F.L.U.D.D. Mario's shortcomings include his below average range, giving him trouble against characters with a long or disjointed range such as Cloud and Marth, respectively and his lack of consistent KO set ups. That said, due to his lack of severe weaknesses, as well as the lowest technical curve in the game, Mario has been among the most successful characters in tournaments, and amazing results at top level play, most notably Ally winning EVO 2016, the largest Smash 4 tournament to date, using Mario. Ally also won GOML 2016 and Smash 'N' Splash 2 beating ZeRo (Smash 4's strongest player) in Grand Finals in both tournaments. ANTi, another notable Mario player notably won CEO 2016 using Mario for the majority of the tournament. Due to this streak of successes, Mario's 5th place ranking is somewhat debated, with some players believing that he deserves to be even higher.
Like in the majority of his games and spin-offs, Mario is intended to be a balanced character in terms of attributes, possessing average walking, dashing and falling speeds, air acceleration, gravity and weight. However, he also has high air speed and jumping force, but low traction. These balanced stats do not give Mario the edge when it comes to overall movement, but they nevertheless make him adept at most situations where a key attribute is needed to gain the advantage, which when combined with his very quick frame data, grants Mario a very effective neutral game. As a result, despite his attributes implying a jack-of-all-trades type of character, Mario is more of a rushdown character in practice.
Thanks to his incredibly quick attack speed, he has a formidable close-range game, since few other characters like Sheik and Meta Knight are a match for this speed. His fast attack speed allows him to consistently apply pressure to the opponent, and he's capable of quickly racking up damage once he gets the momentum, which is easy to do so on characters that cannot match his attack speed without getting punished hard for it, like Palutena. Excluding his forward smash, forward aerial and special moves, all of Mario's moves have fast startup and low ending and landing lag (the latter in the case of his aerial attacks). All of his grounded moves are prime examples of his quick frame data: his neutral attack is his fastest move and an overall effective way to rack up damage, while his up and down tilts are very effective combo starters that can help rack up plenty of damage, and the former easily chains into itself at low percentages, as well as being hard to escape. All of his smash attacks are excellent KO options, as they can reliably KO at high percentages without being endlag-heavy: his forward smash has the highest power of all of his smash attacks when sweetspotted, down smash is a semi-spike, making it useful for forcing opponents offstage, and up smash is very hard to punish due to its speed, power and the fact it grants intangibility on his head. It is also worth noting that an overall number of six of Marios moves can jab reset(these moves being forward tilt, neutral jab, Fireball, forward air, back air, and neutral air(usually effective when sourspotted), though a majority are only usable at low percents). This makes it almost always imperative for Marios opponent to tech all attacks at low percentages when needed, otherwise Mario can capitalize on the opportunity, and tack on unavoidable massive damage in the process.
His aerial attacks are also very useful in any case: neutral aerial is a sex kick that can be useful in edgeguarding or for breaking combos. Back aerial has the longest range and the highest knockback of Mario's aerial moves, allowing it to space effectively and reliably KO offstage. Up aerial's extremely quick startup, vertical launch angle and lack of sourspots let it combo into itself or other moves, on top of letting it easily break combos and setup the aforementioned . Down aerial is a great anti-juggling move that can also KO if used near the top blast line. It also benefits from frame cancelling, as its moderate landing lag is reduced, allowing for potential follow-ups. Finally, his forward aerial is a meteor smash with high base knockback for one, making it great for gimping all but the farthest reaching of recoveries.
His special moveset is highly varied and has plenty of uses. Fireball is a projectile with decently long range. It can be useful in the neutral game or in edgeguarding, thanks to its disruptive knockback, along with very useful chances to disrupt direct approaches. Super Jump Punch travels in a controllable diagonal direction and grants moderate distance, making it good at recovery. It also has intangibility upon startup, allowing it to be used out of shield very effectively. Due to its extremely quick startup, it is also a useful combo finisher, especially near the blast line. On the other hand, Cape reverses opponents, with the induced disorientation often being enough to allow a free hit or efficiently gimp a recovery, which aids in edgeguarding opponents. It is also a powerful reflector, making it highly useful in matchups against projectile-heavy characters, such as Mega Man. F.L.U.D.D. is a mechanism that shoots water, pushing opponents away, which compliments his Cape. Though situational, it can occasionally be used to give Mario some breathing space. As a result of his Cape, F.L.U.D.D. and his fast aerials, Mario also boasts a versatile edgeguarding game.
Another valuable strength of Mario is his grab game. Even though his grab range is only average, his grabs are among the fastest in the game, and his pummel can rack up quite some damage before throwing the opponent. His forward and up throws have the same overall use: they send the opponent at a disadvantageous position, where Mario can capitalize on their mistake. His back throw is by far his strongest throw and can reliably KO below 150% near the ledge. Finally, his down throw is a notorious combo starter. It can repeatedly lead into up tilt at low percentages, or down tilts to regrab on fast fallers or heavyweights and rack up at least 20% in the process. Alternatively, it can lead into neutral attack, forward tilt, down tilt, up smash and down smash at low percentages, as well as neutral aerial, up aerial, down aerial and Super Jump Punch at medium percentages. Finally, and due to the favorable angles his moves send at, his tremendously quick frame data and his extensive amount of combo starters, Mario's combo ability is among the most reliable in the game.
As big as Mario's strengths are, however, he does have some weaknesses. Most characters are able to outperform him in various areas: examples include Bayonetta having a more versatile combo ability, Greninja having better mobility, Donkey Kong having higher power right off the bat and Cloud having larger range. In particular, the latter two are his main weaknesses: his KOing ability is largely inconsistent, with very few guaranteed KO set-ups, and all of them being hard to confirm. While much of his moveset can get the job done, there is a noticeable gap in power between his strongest moves and his other ones. As such, he cannot afford to get predictable, especially with the existence of stale-move negation. His lack of range also prevents him from fighting at a safe distance and consistently forces Mario to approach characters. This leads into having some difficulty against characters with large or disjointed range, though fortunately, these types of characters tend to have significantly slower attacks than Mario. Lastly, his recovery is fairly linear, making it rather easy for the opponent to anticipate where he'll land, though it should be noted that Mario's high air speed and invincible Super Jump Punch makes him surprisingly difficult to gimp.
Mario's custom moves define the fundamentals of customization, with all of them following an "X over Y" pattern. Fast Fireball deals less damage and barely causes flinching, but covers more range at a much faster pace. Fire Orb has less range and is much slower, but deals repeated damage and lingers after being shot. Shocking Cape is electric and has actual KO power, but cannot stall in the air or reflect projectiles. Gust Cape pushes opponents away, especially at point-blank range, but it deals less damage and possesses more ending lag. Super Jump grants almost twice as much distance, but is unable to hit opponents. Explosive Punch deals very high flame damage, but travels a short distance at a fixed direction. Scalding F.L.U.D.D. hits multiple times and can disrupt an opponent's approach better, but is not as useful in edgeguarding. High-Pressure F.L.U.D.D. takes much longer to charge and pushes Mario back when triggered, but its push effect is greatly amplified.
Overall, Mario has many clear strengths, and very few weaknesses. Despite being intended as a jack-of-all-trades character, his very quick speed overall and largely reliable combo ability allows him to get the edge easily against most characters, as it is hard to escape from him once he gets to combo the opponent, while being easy for him to escape and regain the advantage. Because of this, he has the lowest technical learning curve in the game, which has secured him high representation in all levels of play, with high-level professionals such as Ally and ANTi achieving strong tournament results.
Changes from Brawl
Mario has been significantly buffed from Brawl, where he was a low tier character. He is considerably nimbler and stronger than in past games, and is much more capable of comboing and KOing. His reach is somewhat greater as well. Also, as many characters with disjointed hitboxes who were a large threat to Mario in Brawl, such as Marth, were nerfed or reworked, Mario has an easier time handling them than in previous games, thanks to his better reach. Furthermore, the change to the ledge mechanics makes his linear recovery harder to edgeguard. Lastly, in tournaments and other situations where custom specials are available, his edge-guarding game is improved further with tools such as Fast Fireball, Gust Cape, and High-Pressure F.L.U.D.D., all of which are potent at gimping.
One of the only notable nerfs Mario seems to suffer from is an overall decrease in damage output, with it now being just average. However, due to the significant buffs to both his KO potential and combo ability, this nerf is pretty negligible. Overall, Mario has received major buffs to his maneuverability and combo game, and he is considered to be one of the most potent choices for competitive play, courtesy of being easy and effective to use for beginners and advanced players alike. This has also resulted in him having the largest tier rise from Brawl.
Unlike other characters, Mario has only received minor changes. 1.1.1 benefits his forward smash's sweetspot as it makes it safer when shielded due to its increased hitlag and shieldstun, though it also makes it slightly harder for him as the increased shieldstun also makes it harder for him to punish out of shield. Nonetheless, Mario is still a viable character.
Technical changelist 1.0.6
In competitive play
In Event Matches