- This article is about Wolf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For the character in other contexts, see Wolf O'Donnell.
Wolf (ウルフ, Wolf) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, who, along with Fox and Falco, originates from the Star Fox universe. Wolf's appearance in the game was witnessed several months before its release, via a leak in Japan, and he was confirmed officially on March 31st, 2008; the final officially confirmed character. His Japanese voice actor is Mahito Oba, and his English voice actor is Jay Ward. Contrary to the common perception among newer and casual players that Wolf is a semi-clone, Wolf's move set is quite different from Fox and Falco's, though his special moves, floor and ledge recovery animations, and Final Smash are similar to theirs.
Wolf is currently ranked 14th on the current tier list at the middle of the upper-mid tier. Wolf possesses tremendous mobility, with among the best air speed, and high, fast jumps. Wolf additionally possesses great air to ground transitioning, as he possesses fast falling speed, and aerials that either have low landing lag or can be auto-cancelled in a short hop. Wolf in general has fast attacks with disproportionally far reach (his back aerial being especially notorious in this regard), which when combined with the aforementioned mobility and an effective DACUS, results in effective approaching capabilities. Wolf also has an effective transcendent projectile in his Blaster, a Reflector that comes out in 1 frame while providing significant intangibility frames (useful for getting Wolf out of juggles and opponents off him in general), an all purpose throw in his down throw, well rounded power throughout his moveset, and rather strong comboing capabilities. Wolf has an Achilles Heel, however, in his extreme vulnerability to chain throws (resulting from the combination of his heavy weight, and fast falling speed and acceleration), where four characters can chain throw him to death, and others can perform chain throws that result in significant damage. Wolf additionally possesses a recovery that is heavily susceptible to gimps, being a fast faller with a vertical recovery move (Fire Wolf) that has severe angling issues, and a particular vulnerability to meteor smashes, as Wolf suffers a 60 frame delay when meteor cancelling, over twice as much as most other characters (even low knockback meteor smashes can send Wolf down too far to recover). Another problem for Wolf is his atrocious vertical momentum cancelling, which causes Wolf to have a vertical endurance potential that is significantly worse than what is typical of characters with fast falling speeds (thus losing one of their primary strengths while still possessing their general weaknesses). Overall, Wolf has above average matchups with only a few counters, and his tournament results have periodically fluctuated between being unusually good for a non-high tier character (where he has outperformed some high tier characters), and being just merely above average.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
The player must then fight and defeat Wolf on Lylat Cruise.
Wolf's standing height in comparison to Fox's
Of the three playable Star Fox characters present in Brawl, Wolf's characteristics as a fighter are the most individual. Wolf is by far the heaviest space animal, but ranks only three places above Mario in terms of weight. Despite possessing a larger body frame than Fox and Falco, Wolf leans down while standing and moving along the ground, and has the shortest stance of the three. His dash speed is slow, barely outpacing his walk, but he has the third fastest fall speed, and fourth fastest horizontal air speed. While these attributes provide him with good aerial mobility, Wolf is vulnerable to chain grabbing, juggling, and certain locks due to his heavy weight and rapid falling speed. It should also be noted that fast falling does not accelerate Wolf's fall by a considerable amount, which hinders his ability to vertical momentum cancel in comparison to characters with quicker fast falls, such as Captain Falcon. However, his ability to momentum cancel horizontally, aided by his fast back aerial and his horizontally based midair jump, is one of the best in the game when compared to other characters' abilities to momentum cancel horizontally without DI.
Most of Wolf's standard attacks start quickly and have good reach, and he has a DACUS that propels him a considerable distance along the ground. Many of his attacks have the potential to KO, such as back aerial, up tilt, and his smashes. The speed and reach of his attacks allow him to punish effectively on the ground as well as in the air, and their solid damage dealing properties can build opponents' damage quickly. However, since many of his standard attacks are effective for racking up damage, they may suffer from stale move negation if not used carefully, and cause problems when Wolf tries to KO. Many of Wolf's attacks also have poor shield stun effects, which allow opponents to shield grab him easily if they block his hits. His down aerial is a relatively weak meteor smash, but it starts quickly in comparison to other meteors, and has two large overlapping hitboxes.
Wolf's special moves are variants of Fox and Falco's, with different animations and properties. His neutral special, Blaster, is a gun that fires projectile lasers, and its firing rate is slower than that of its counterparts. However, its lasers deal significant hitstun, the most damage, and have the most vertical reach - no character is capable of ducking under these lasers on level ground. It also serves as a melee weapon, delivering extra damage to foes if the blaster itself contacts them. Wolf's down special, Reflector, is a versatile move that deflects projectiles and grants him invincibility frames, which may be used to avoid attacks, and escape chain throws if his opponent makes an error. The reflector has very short reach, and delivers very weak set knockback and the least damage, but it can be used to gimp fast falling opponents with poor and/or slow vertical recoveries such as Falco.
While Wolf's air speed and recovery moves allow him to travel a considerable distance in order to recover, these moves are easily predicted, and his ledge sweet spot is one of the smallest in the game. As such, he is easily gimped, and his recovery is susceptible to edge-hogging. Wolf also suffers from the highest meteor cancel delay in the game (a window of 60 frames, compared to the average of 25, with no other character having more than 32), making it very difficult for him to survive meteors even at low percentages. This, in combination with his vulnerability to chain throwing, poses a problem, since some chain throws, such as King Dedede's down throw chain throw, can force him offstage. His side special, Wolf Flash, sends Wolf diagonally across and upward in a fast 'flash', and is used to recover horizontally. It has the potential to meteor smash if sweet spotted. Wolf Flash also has unusual characteristics that may be utilised to help Wolf recover. His up special, Fire Wolf, is a move that propels Wolf in a direction of the players' choosing. It has the least start up lag in comparison to Fox and Falco's counterpart moves, drags opponents along with it, and delivers knockback at the end, but has a very small ledge sweet spot.
Overall, Wolf is a balanced character who may face problems when matched against opponents that can exploit his weaknesses, but has strengths that earn him the position of a viable tournament contender.
- Neutral attack: A natural combo of three hits; Wolf slashes with one arm, then the other, and bites on the third hit, delivering knockback. The three hits deal 3%, 2% and 4% consecutively for a total of 9%. The first hit moves Wolf no distance and is a consecutive jab - it will repeat itself continuously if the attack button is held down. The second hit moves Wolf forward a very short distance, and the first and second hits may be jab canceled and immediately followed by a second jab, a grab or another attack. The third hit moves Wolf forward an even greater distance than the second, and has above average knockback and hitstun for a neutral attack, but cannot reliably KO. All three hits have substantially large hitboxes, and the second and third are often guaranteed if the first hit connects. The knockback delivered by the third hit is useful for pushing opponents to a safe distance without the risk of punishment, and it can catch opponents off guard if deliberately delayed. However, Wolf's jab is still susceptible to shield grabbing, and must be used with caution in the face of opponents with a dangerous grab game. Neutral combo can be followed up with fair, RAR back aerial, DACUS and f-smash at low to mid percentages, and a short hopped Blaster at higher percentages. Has a start-up of 4 frames.
- Dash attack: Performs a back flip out of a run. The back flip halts the forward momentum of the dash, but can be used to execute a DACUS. Knockback is relatively weak, and the trajectory of the opponent depends upon the part of Wolf's body that contacts them. Dash attack has a very small horizontal range and significant ending lag, and is thus susceptible to grabs if shielded, punishment if a player fails to connect with it, and it is difficult to followed up on upon landing. Does 9%. Hits on frame 11-12.
The distinct hitboxes and freezing properties of Wolf's f-tilt.
- Forward tilt: Leans forward with both arms together and swipes, separating his claws on impact. Can be angled. The attack has a good reach and consists of two hits: an early, inner hitbox that does 5%, and a later, outer hitbox that does 6%, for a total of up to 11%. The first hitbox produces a large number of freeze frames if it connects with an opponent, and will freeze both Wolf and the opponent for a short time before the second hitbox appears and knocks them away at a low upwards angle. These freeze frames will affect Wolf if he hits an opponent's shield with the first hitbox, but not his opponent. It is possible to connect with only the second hitbox, which delivers knockback and does not produce the freezing effect. It has good reach and can be a useful follow up after connecting with aerial attacks such as back aerial and Reflector. If it hits an opponent's shield and they drop it during the freeze frames produced by the first hitbox, the second hitbox will punish them. Spamming the attack can be risky, however, as experienced opponents may punish it with a shield grab. Forward tilt can be followed up with the Blaster, and can KO at very high percentages. First hit on frame 8 and the second hit on frame 9-10.
- Down tilt: Performs a fast low kick from a crouching position. At low percentages, it trips opponents, and at higher percentages, it knocks opponents into the air, with a horizontal trajectory. Tripping an opponent with down tilt can be followed up with a f-smash or DACUS, and down tilt can lock opponents against walls at damages up to about 50%, higher if performed into an overhanging wall structure. Down tilt can also be used to edgeguard, most notably on stages with sloping edges such as Yoshi's Island. Does 6%. Hitbox out on frame 5 and it ends on frame 6.
- Up tilt: Kicks upward in front of his body, dealing 10% and knocking opponents vertically. There is a sweetspot at the tip of Wolf's boot, which delivers the most knockback, and there is a moderate amount of invisible reach in front of Wolf's leg when he performs the move. On certain stages, such as Battlefield and Halberd, the sweetspot of up tilt will connect with opponents who are standing on soft platforms above Wolf. At low to mid percentages, a fastfalled up aerial followed by an up tilt is a true combo. The up tilt is also a strong vertical finisher, capable of reliably KOing under 150%, making it effective as a surprise KO move should Wolf's other attacks be stale. Hits on frame 7-11.
- Forward smash: Wolf stretches his arms in front of his body and thrusts forward, then twists his claws. This attack is one of the longest reaching f-smashes in the game; it has very low start-up lag (9 frames) and moves Wolf forward a considerable distance, but it is the third weakest f-smash in the game, and has noticeable ending lag. Despite being the third weakest f-smash, it still produces above average horizontal knockback, but stale-move negation can affect its KO ability. It has two hitboxes - the first delivers weak knockback and usually hits opponents into the second, which has stronger knockback. The first hitbox is a semi-spike that can trip the opponent without the second hitbox landing, leaving the opponent vulnerable to a down smash in such situations. Due to its long range and relatively high damage, f-smash is considered a very useful punishing move, especially upon landing opponents. Since it moves Wolf forward, a f-smash can sometimes be difficult for opponents to punish, but its ending lag leaves Wolf vulnerable if he misses or hits a shield. Does 15% when both hits connect.
- Up smash: Performs an upward scissor kick. Its animation is very similar to Sonic's up aerial, but is performed on the ground. This move hits twice: the first hit usually pushes the opponent into the second. Can be used in a DACUS. It has slow start-up lag (12 frames) compared to his other smashes, but very low ending lag, which allows it to be easily followed up with a up aerial juggle or back aerial combo at low to mid percentages. The second hitbox deals above average vertical knockback but it is one of the weaker up smashes in the game, barely KOing under 150% when not stale. It has a small sweetspot on his body that deals the same damage as the main hitbox on his legs, but is much more powerful and sends opponents on a horizontal trajectory instead. Landing this sweetspot is very difficult though and is mostly luck based as it is usually landed when the opponent does a rolling dodge past the first hitbox and into Wolf's body. It is also sometimes landed during a DACUS. It is also interesting to note that this sweetspot KOs even quicker than Wolf's down smash - when fully charged it KOs at 86% (though the down smash does have slightly higher knockback scaling). The first and second hits deal 6% and 12% respectively, a total of 18% uncharged.
- Down smash: Swipes his claws on both sides of his body, first in front and then behind. This attack has very low start-up lag (front hit on frame 8-9, back hit on frame 14-15) and even less ending lag, along with powerful horizontal knockback, reliably KOing at around 125%. It is often considered Wolf's best finisher due to it being significantly stronger than the rest of his attacks (except for the very difficult to land sweetspot of the up smash) and being even faster than his other KO moves. It is often considered the best down smash in the game on par with Meta Knight's due to its great speed and reach, as well as its great knockback for a down smash. When compared to Meta Knight's down smash, it has slightly less reach and slightly more start-up, but Wolf's has even less ending lag and the first swipe of Wolf's down smash is slightly stronger than the back slice of Meta Knight's down smash. It is also interesting to note that both down smashes have the same amount of frames in their durations. When fully charged, the first hit KOs at 87%. The first hit deals 14% and the second hit deals 13%. Wolf has the strongest down smash of the three Star Fox characters in Brawl, while Fox possesses the strongest up smash, and Falco the strongest forward smash.
Wolf shares all his floor and ledge recovery animations with Fox and Falco.
- Ledge attack (under 100%): Wolf quickly slides his body onstage, kicking forth with both legs, then retreating. 8%.
- Ledge attack (over 100%): Slowly lifts himself using his arms, then flips onto the stage and kicks with one foot. 10%.
- Floor attack: Rises and kicks on one side of his body, then the other. 6%.
- Trip attack: Rises and sweeps a foot around his body. 5%.
- Neutral aerial: Wolf curls up and flips several times. If the attack connects on the first hit, it will hit once, deal 8% and deliver weak horizontal knockback. Otherwise, it will hit several times, dealing 1% per hit, and deliver small amounts of hitstun but no knockback. It is possible to lock by chaining strings of short hopped neutral aerials into opponents. Has a start-up of 3 frames.
- Forward aerial: Slashes with his left arm; a similar animation to Mewtwo's fair in Melee. Wolf's fair has decent horizontal reach and delivers a moderately high amount of vertical knockback, but has considerable ending and landing lag. It is possible to autocancel in a short hop. Does 11%. Hits on frame 7-9.
- Back aerial: Kicks outward behind his body. The back aerial is considered Wolf's best aerial, since it has almost no start-up (5 frames) or ending lag, large horizontal reach, and strong horizontal knockback. It can be used in a RAR and can be often followed up by an f-smash at low percentages. An excellent move for spacing. It is commonly used for edgeguarding, can be strung into a Wall of Pain at low percentages, can be used to stage spike opponents recovering from below, and poses little risk if used as a finisher at high percentages. Does 13% when sweetspotted, 11% when the middle hitbox connects, and 9% when sourspotted.
- Up aerial: Swipes in an arc above his head. It has little start-up lag (hitbox out on frame 7 and it ends on frame 9) and a moderate amount of ending lag, and has a wide hitbox that with low vertical reach. It has low vertical knockback, making it effective as a juggler, but ineffective for the purpose of KOing unless both Wolf and his opponent are near an upper blast line. Does 12%.
- Down aerial: Strikes both arms downward as if wielding an axe. It has a somewhat large amount of start-up (14 frames) and ending lag, but is one of the fastest meteor smashes in the game. Its knockback is weak for a meteor smash, but it has two meteor smash hitboxes, the main one doing 15% with a second one doing 13%.
Grabs & throws
Wolf's grab range is relatively short; most of the cast's grabs out reach his. While Fox and Falco possess similar throw techniques and animations, Wolf's are unique, and, unlike theirs, none of his involve the use of his blaster.
- Pummel: Hits his opponent with his right knee. It is the second fastest pummel in the game, and only the first hit counts towards Stale-move negation. Deals 1% per pummel. With fast enough button mashing, it can rack up 8-14% damage depending on the opponent's percentage.
- Forward throw: Uppercuts his opponent forward. This throw can be used to pseudo chain throw some characters, such as Fox, at very low percentages by buffering a dash forward. it may also be followed up with a f-smash, DACUS, or RAR back aerial. Does 7%.
- Back throw: Throws the opponent upward and claws them behind himself. The opponent's trajectory is diagonal and upward, causing it to be ineffective for knocking the opponent off the edge and its ending lag makes it difficult to follow up on. Does 7%.
- Up throw: Throws the opponent upward and slashes them with both claws. Its base knockback is too strong for Wolf to effectively follow up on. Does 7%.
- Down throw: Throws the opponent on the ground, does a small jump and claws them. Considered Wolf's best throw, it sends the opponent diagonally downward, causing them to slide along the ground and off any nearby edges. At very low percentages, it can pseudo chain throw or be followed up by a jab, down tilt, or down smash. At low to mid percentages, it can also be followed up by a f-smash, DACUS, or a Blaster. At high percentages, it is a powerful and deadly semi-spike on the edge, which puts characters in a very inconvenient position to recover from or even sends them far enough to where they are unable to recover. Does 12%.
Up: Leans his head back and howls.
Down: Kneels down, slaps one hand on the ground and snarls.
Side: Does three kicks whilst spinning on one foot, and says "What's the matter, scared?"
Smash Taunt: On the Lylat Cruise stage, Wolf can summon various Star Fox Conversations if the player presses his or her Down Taunt button for one frame.
Wolf ejects from a passing Wolfen.
- Faces away from the screen, raises an arm, then turns to look at the camera while saying "Weaklings, the bunch of you!"
- Claws the air twice, pauses and kicks while saying "I will be the one to take you down."
- Leans forward and snarls, then stands up straight, crosses his arms, and laughs.
- If Wolf wins a match against Fox and performs the third victory pose, he says "Playtime's over, Star Fox!"
Wolf says "Playtime's over" in a mocking voice.
Wolf's NTSC and PAL cheer
Wo-olf! *howl* Wo-olf! *howl*
- See also: Category:Wolf professionals (SSBB)
Tier placement and history
Wolf was ranked 16th on the first tier list (September 2008), in the high tier. He then saw a large drop, falling to 20th place on the second tier list (January 2009), and again dropping to 22nd on the third (June 2009). He hovered around the 22nd spot for a few more revisions of the list. Wolf's drop was largely due to his extreme vulnerability to chaingrabs (some of which are infinites and 0-deaths), as well as having a poor recovery. Around late 2010, several Wolf players started doing very well in tournaments (Kain was noted for being of the most dominant forces in the American Midwest). Wolf's strong mobility, aerial game, and general all-around fighting abilities were recognized in the sixth tier list (July 2011), when Wolf jumped up six places to the 16th position. Wolf was also recognized to have one of the best matchups against the overly dominant Meta Knight, as well as many even or close to even matchups against the other top tier characters; Wolf generally had strong matchups outside of the characters who are able to chaingrab him effectively. Wolf is currently ranked at 14th place in the upper-mid tier, in the eighth tier list, as of April 2013.
Wolf, like Jigglypuff and Toon Link, does not play a major role, or influence the story of the Subspace Emissary, and is not even seen interacting with any other characters, but may join the player's party after Tabuu has been defeated. To encounter Wolf, the player must enter a particular Red Door in The Ruins stage, which will take them to Lylat Cruise after a brief cut-scene. In the cut-scene, Wolf is seen flying his Wolfen, jumping out, and landing on the cruise ship. Wolf strikes a pose, then rushes forward to attack. Although he is the only character present in the cut-scene, he appears to stare at his challenger. The player must then defeat him in a one-life stock battle, and if they win the match, Wolf joins the party. This will also unlock him if he has not yet been unlocked.
Wolf's alternate costumes in Brawl
Wolf's trophy is obtained by clearing Classic Mode as Wolf.
- A pilot whose real name is Wolf O'Donnell. He leads a group of mercenaries called Star Wolf. He's crossed paths with Fox many times, and each acknowledges the other as a competent rival. Wolf's constant interference with Fox is a result of Wolf's history with Fox's dad, James. Wolf's long history of criminal enterprise has resulted in a large bounty on his head.
- : Star Fox 64 (NTSC), Lylat Wars (PAL)
- : Star Fox: Assault