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 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. 
Similar to his own series, Mario is a balanced character in SSB4, possessing no real overwhelming strengths or weaknesses. As such, players are often encouraged to start off as Mario to get a feel of the games' mechanics; however, unlike in Brawl (and Melee to a lesser extent), players who continue to practice with Mario can also discover his excellent competitive worth, as his comboing, throwing and edgeguarding games are all above par when fully developed. Mario's strength, weight, and mobility are average in comparison to a majority of the cast, and aside from wall-jumping, he has no real outstanding traits like many other characters. However, this does not mean Mario is helpless; while he may not boast superior strength found in heavyweights like Bowser, or speed in characters such as Sonic, he is well-equipped to combat all characters and tackle any situation, making him a very reliable and well-rounded character.
Mario has decent approach and spacing options; his dashing speed is average and he boasts the eighth fastest air speed in the game, allowing him to cover ground and get close to opponent(s) without much trouble. If he requires space from his opponents, however, Mario can find reliance within his Fireball, Cape, and F.L.U.D.D. specials: his Fireball projectiles have good range, decent speed, and can disrupt opponents at a distance; Cape is quick and can spin his foes around and reflect projectiles, which can ensure safety if his opponents get too close or are taking a long-ranged camping approach; and F.L.U.D.D. can push fighters away and can cut through projectiles.
Mario possesses quick, low lag attacks that always provide some utility in various situations. With his mobility and attacks, Mario possesses some of the best combo and juggling abilities in the game, which are perhaps his greatest strengths. While his damage output is merely average, his approach, combos, and juggles can ensure he can rack up damage on nearly the same level as the fastest characters in the game. His overall knockback is also decent and a number of his attacks, primarily his smashes and aerials, can KO well into the early-to-mid 100s. However, more often than not will players find they need to create set-ups before Mario can get in any kills, which can be quite a challenge as most characters can trump Mario in a specific field (which is where Mario can mainly find trouble). However, this can be remedied by the rage mechanic; Mario is unique from most other non-heavyweights in that he can benefit from the knockback increase induced by rage without nearly any of his combos getting affected thanks to his approach options, allowing for more reliable kills.
Mario also boasts one of the most reliable throwing games; while his grab range is sub-par (despite being better than in previous installments), his throws are versatile, as his back and forward throw can set up gimp KOs when used from the edge of a stage (and his back throw itself can KO at high percentages from an edge), and his down and up throw can set up combos, especially with his down throw if it is followed up by his up tilt or up aerial.
Despite being a conventional character, Mario has a few gimmicks, all of which help him surprisingly excel at edgeguarding. His forward aerial is an extremely reliable meteor smash when sweetspotted, albeit its high startup and ending lag makes it a rather risky move to use offstage. His back aerial can be used for walls of pain and knock fighters farther away from the stage for edgeguarding. Mario's Fireballs can also gimp recoveries thanks to their low knockback. F.L.U.D.D. is another powerful edgeguarding tool that pushes enemies back without causing hitstun, allowing it to cleanly gimp characters who are helpless after using their up special; using it at the wrong time may actually boost some recoveries, however. Most notably, Mario's Cape is one of the best edgeguarding weapon tools in the game. When used, it can effectively and quickly gimp almost every recovery in the game, particularly if used after F.L.U.D.D.; it is especially useful against linear recoveries and or helpless fighters trying to get to the ledge. His Cape also stalls his movement in the air, so it can also be used to save himself from being edgeguarded.
Despite all these advantages, however, Mario is not without his faults: as mentioned above, he can be outclassed by characters who excel in a specific field, such as Sonic in speed, Ryu in comboing, Bowser in knockback, etc., which can hinder his approaching options. His approach can also be hindered by characters with long-range or disjointed hitboxes, such as Shulk, mostly thanks to his own mediocre attack range. His recovery is also sub-par, as his Super Jump Punch is predictable and its distance is only slightly above average, making it easy to gimp Mario's recovery. While he can add mix-ups to his recovery with his wall-jump, it can be difficult to execute due to most stages not having flat walls to perform it with, making it risky.
Mario's custom moves are highly polarized in comparison to his balanced default moves, and thus effectively define the basics of alternate movesets. This allows a Mario player to either cover a hole in his abilities while possibly opening another, or put everything into excelling in a certain area. His Fireball alternatives are a common custom archetype of speed vs. power: Fast Fireball is much quicker, but weaker and doesn't follow gravity, while Fire Orb is much bigger and stronger, hitting multiple times, but is incredibly sluggish to throw and has almost no range. Similarly, Gust Cape deals less damage in exchange for producing a blast of wind that can push opponents some distance, while Shocking Cape is much more powerful when hitting with the cape itself, but only destroys projectiles instead of reflecting, and gives no aerial boost. His Super Jump Punch customs are also a common up-special archetype of recovery vs. power: Super Jump goes higher, but cannot hit enemies, while Explosive Punch hits incredibly hard, but gives less height. His F.L.U.D.D alternatives both give a power increase, but in different ways: Scalding F.L.U.D.D. charges faster and damages enemies instead of pushing, but this takes away its edgeguarding potential over helpless enemies as a result, as well as having worse range, whereas High-Pressure F.L.U.D.D. pushes much harder and has improved range, but takes longer to charge, and the recoil pushes Mario backwards.
All-in-all, Mario is the jack-of-all-trades who can go up against anyone with near-guaranteed reliability, but is not truly a master in any specific fields, though he has a noticeable advantage against fighters with linear recoveries and has one of the best combo capabilities in the game. Nonetheless, Mario is a choice that most can pick up and easily master.
Changes from Brawl
Mario has been significantly buffed from Brawl to SSB4. 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. One of the only notable nerfs Mario seems to suffer from is an overall decrease in damage output. 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. 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. Overall, Mario has received major buffs to his maneuverability and combo game, and he is considered a high-tier or even top-tier character overall, easy and effective to use for beginners and advanced players alike. Mario has very good tournament representation, which, similar to Captain Falcon, is due to a combination of his low learning curve, his viability, and his overall popularity as a character.
Unlike other characters, Mario has only received minor changes. However, 1.1.1 makes it slightly harder for him due to the many changes on shield, as the increased shieldstun makes it harder for him to punish out of shield. Nonetheless, Mario is still a viable character.
In Competitive Play
In Event Matches