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 8th out of 56 characters on the tier list, in the middle of the A tier, 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's 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 very successful in tournaments, the most notable result being Ally winning Get On My Level 2016 mainly using Mario. In doubles of this tournament, Ally used Mario teaming up with ANTi who also mainly used Mario and won.
Though seemingly a jack-of-all-trades type of character, Mario is more of a rushdown character in practice. A clear indicator of this would be his frame data; his incredibly quick attack speed makes him great at applying pressure to the opponent, and he's capable of quickly racking up damage once he gets the momentum. Excluding his forward smash, forward aerial and special moves, all of Mario's moves have fast startup and low ending lag. This grants him a formidable close-range game, since few other characters are a match for this speed. His up and down tilts are very effective combo starters that can help rack up plenty of damage. Additionally, his smash attacks are excellent KO tools, as they can reliably KO at high percentages without being endlag-heavy. His down smash is also a semi-spike, making it useful for forcing opponents offstage. 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 and vertical launch angle let it combo into itself or other moves. 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 decently low landing lag is further reduced, allowing for potential follow-ups. Finally, the aforementioned forward aerial is a meteor smash with high base knockback, making it great for gimping 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. Cape can reflect projectiles, making it highly useful in matchups against projectile heavy characters. It can also also aid in edgeguarding opponents. It can also reverse opponents, with the induced disorientation often being enough to allow a free hit or gimp a recovery. 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. Lastly, F.L.U.D.D. is a mechanism that shoots water and can push opponents away. Though limited in application, it can occasionally be used to give Mario some breathing space or gimp recoveries with fixed momentum.
Another valuable strength of Mario is his grab game. Even though his grab range is short, his grabs are among the fastest in the game. 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 capitalise on their mistake. His back throw is by far his strongest throw and can reliably KO at 140% near the ledge. Finally, his down throw is a notorious combo starter. It can repeatedly lead into up tilt at low percentages 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.
However, Mario has some weaknesses. His KOing ability is largely inconsistent, with no guaranteed KO set-ups. Mario will have extreme difficulty KOing before 150% if he can't land his up smash. In spite of its high speed, he cannot afford to get predictable, especially with the existence of stale-move negation. His recovery is fairly linear, making it easier 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. His lack of range, in particular, is Mario's greatest weakness. It 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. Outside of his low traction, high air speed, and ability to wall jump, all of his other stats are average. These balanced stats do not give Mario the edge when it comes to overall movement, but they nevertheless allow him to consistently keep up with most characters.
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 as a character has many clear strengths, and very few weaknesses. Combined with the lowest technical learning curve in the game, he has secured 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