Olimar (ピクミン＆オリマー, Pikmin & Olimar) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His return to the series was announced on July 12th, 2013 via SSB4's official website, which made him the first character revealed after the initial E3 2013 reveal of SSB4. Olimar's reveal also occurred one day before the Japanese release date of Pikmin 3.
Olimar is currently ranked 30th out of 58 on the tier list, placing him at the top of the E tier. This is a significant drop from his top-tier placement in Brawl, where he was ranked 3rd out of 38. As in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Olimar's Pikmin possess an impressive level of utility. The Pikmin grant him respectable KO and damage racking potentials, as Olimar can use them to deal direct and/or indirect damage via his standard moves or by having the Pikmin latch onto opponents via Pikmin Throw, respectively. The Pikmin also grant him a potent grab game, as they make each of his grabs disjointed and make his down throw a very reliable combo starter even up to high percents. Lastly, Winged Pikmin functions as a maneuverable, flight-based recovery move that is vastly superior to the tether-based recovery move Pikmin Chain and even allows Olimar to attack out of it.
However, Olimar's active Pikmin count has now been halved from six to three, which severely weakens the camping strategies he relied on in Brawl. The Pikmin themselves have also been weakened in a few, yet noticeable ways: Red, Yellow, Blue and Purple Pikmin have lower hit points (which is further compounded by them and White Pikmin dying faster while separated from Olimar), while all types of Pikmin have lowered overall damage outputs and somewhat flawed artificial intelligence. Olimar himself retains his slow overall mobility, with his aerial mobility in particular making him easy to juggle despite him being a lightweight. Additionally, his offense is still burdened by slow attack speed and an over-reliance on Pikmin.
Despite retaining his flaws and gaining new ones, Olimar has nevertheless attained decent representation in competitive play and has fared better than other characters that were formerly well-renowned in Brawl, such as Falco and King Dedede.
Olimar is a lightweight with slow overall mobility, with his air acceleration being his only attribute that is above average. Olimar's playstyle is almost identical to how it was in Brawl due to retaining a large portion of his moveset and animations, although some moves have been slightly modified. Much like in his home series, Olimar himself has extremely meager offensive prowess and must rely on instructing his multicolored Pikmin to remedy this glaring flaw. As a result, almost all of Olimar's moves involve Pikmin and thus they can end up being useful or useless depending on whether or not he has Pikmin. When he has Pikmin, Olimar possesses arguably one of the most unique playstyles in the game due to Pikmin acting as both projectiles and separate characters, much like Rosalina & Luma.
When used correctly, the Pikmin provide noticeable and effective benefits: they can easily rack up high amounts of damage in short periods of time, they grant Olimar a largely disjointed grab range due to Pikmin running out to grab opponents at any time, they can carry various items back to Olimar as they run back to him much like in their home series, and they can also help with camping or halting approaches. Additionally, each type of Pikmin provides unique and useful effects. His special moves are also heavily dependent on Pikmin, but they are all beneficial nonetheless. Pikmin Throw enables Olimar to hinder approaches or, with Purple Pikmin, even stop them outright. Pikmin Order reorganizes his Pikmin for the proper situation at hand and grants him launch resistance to help alleviate his light weight. Lastly, Winged Pikmin provides a long-distanced and maneuverable recovery that makes Olimar more difficult to KO compared to other lightweights.
With all things considered, Olimar has one of the most damaging playstyles among the cast, as he is able to KO nearly all opponents in a short period when his Pikmin are utilized wisely. For example, Pikmin Throw allots him a large array of options for offense, as it can both zone and get opponents to KO percents quickly; when the thrown Pikmin are not shaken off, they can rack up 10%-30% in a matter of seconds, forcing opponents to carefully calculate their approach. He can also have up to three Pikmin at a time in his lineup, which, despite its aforementioned halving since Brawl, can be hard for an opponent to keep track of, especially with each color boasting unique attributes. He can also KO early with his relatively fast and very powerful smash attacks; some, such as up smash, are able to KO with Purple Pikmin as early as about 60%. Also, with his largely disjointed grab range, he can disrupt the movements of both quick characters and roll spammers, also being having an excellent shield grab. His aerial game is also quite powerful, with some of his moves being able to easily juggle and KO at the upper blast line, although these are pitiful without Pikmin. However, they can also double as a drawback: since Pikmin are now treated as projectiles, they can be reflected, sometimes hindering his ability against characters with moves of this sort.
However, Olimar does have noticeable flaws. One of Olimar's greatest weaknesses is that he struggles against fast characters, such as Sonic and Captain Falcon. As Olimar is a slower character, they can easily catch up and punish Olimar if he tries to retreat to pluck more Pikmin. They can also easily kill Olimar's Pikmin, especially Sonic, whose Spin Dash can kill off any attached Pikmin in one or two hits. As Olimar needs his Pikmin to have a respectable offensive presence, Olimar must play very safely against these characters. Olimar also has poor aerial mobility, as his slow falling and air speeds make him easy to juggle and, when combined with his light weight, to KO. Not to mention all of his directional aerials have the crippling flaw of low priority, making it impossible to combat edgeguarders who are attacking with an aerial or up special. Another severe flaw he has is his over-reliance on Pikmin, much like in his home series. Without any Pikmin, Olimar's smash attacks, up, down, back, and forward aerials, grabs and side special will simply do nothing, which significantly harms his neutral game due to them being his most effective attacks. This also leaves Olimar with a total of six attacks that deal damage: his neutral attack, tilt attacks, dash attack and neutral aerial, with his forward tilt being his only KOing option that does not use Pikmin. Due to this, it is crucial that Olimar has at least one Pikmin with him at all times.
Olimar has a few beneficial custom moves. Hardy Pikmin Pluck makes all types of Pikmin more durable at the cost of them being plucked slower. Sticky Pikmin Throw has each Pikmin deal less damage and distance the Pikmin are thrown are reduced, but they stay on for much longer and hit faster, making it deal more damage overall compared to Hardy Pikmin Pluck. Tackle Pikmin Throw does not have the Pikmin latch on. Instead, they act like Purple Pikmin and slam into opponents, knocking them back. Mighty Winged Pikmin has reduced total travel distance, but the distance is not affected by the amount of Pikmin that Olimar is carrying. Lastly, Order Tackle has all latched on Pikmin deal damage upon being recalled, which gives Olimar another way to deal damage.
Overall, Olimar still retains many of his considerable strengths in spite of their nerfs, and has even had some attributes buffed, mostly in regard to his damage output. While his potential damage output was reduced, a smart player can overcome this, especially with the new mechanics for keeping track of Pikmin, making Olimar a much more reliable character for the player. His recovery has also been completely revamped for the better, which many agree has helped to alleviate his other changes. Early in the metagame, Olimar was thought to be one of the worst characters, yet dedicated mains such as Dabuz, ImHip, Angbad, Myran, and Logic have shown that, as in Brawl, he is still a very capable character who retains a very high learning curve. This is comparable to the early days of Brawl's metagame; in the beginning, he was seen as a mid-tier character, yet eventually rose to be in the top 3 on that game's tier list.
Changes from Brawl
Olimar has been nerfed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. The most glaring nerf was the limit of his Pikmin, which was halved from six to three. As a result, this hinders his general damage output and especially his potential damage output, as well as his camping potential.
However, he also received slight buffs in some areas to compensate, such as his smash attacks using Purple Pikmin becoming even more potent. The most noticeable buff Olimar received was to his recovery, as Winged Pikmin largely outclasses Pikmin Chain. He additionally maintains most of the options he had in Brawl. However, these changes do not properly compensate his noticeable nerfs, which has led to him to be considered one of the characters to have been truly nerfed in the transition from Brawl, alongside Meta Knight, Marth, Falco, King Dedede, and Jigglypuff. As a result, Olimar still boasts viability, albeit not to the same degree as in Brawl.
Olimar has received a mix of buffs and nerfs from game updates. Update 1.0.4 made Pikmin Pluck unable to be edge-canceled and decreased the amount of damage that Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin deal when they latch onto opponents. To compensate for this, White Pikmin deal more damage when latched on and the latch time for all Pikmin was increased.
However, Olimar also significantly benefits from the changes to shield mechanics brought by updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1. This is due to latched Pikmin becoming better at damaging an opponent's shield, while the low ending lag on his smash attacks makes them even less punishable on shield due to the increased shieldstun. As a result, Olimar is slightly better than he was during SSB4's initial release.
In competitive play
In Event Matches