Dr. Mario (SSBU)
Dr. Mario (ドクターマリオ, Doctor Mario) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was revealed for the game along with the rest of the veterans on June 12th, 2018. Dr. Mario is classified as fighter #18.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Dr. Mario must then be defeated on New Donk City Hall.
Differences from Mario
Despite not being an Echo Fighter of Mario, Dr. Mario is still very much a full clone of Mario. Both characters are middleweights with the ability to wall jump. Because Dr. Mario uses external modifiers to his stats (rather than directly modifying them), Dr. Mario sports subpar mobility compared to Mario. He has the 16th-slowest walking speed, 7th-slowest dashing speed, 8th-slowest air speed, poor air acceleration, 29th-slowest falling speed, 31st-slowest fast falling speed, average gravity and traction, and below-average jump force. As a result of these traits, Dr. Mario's approach and recovery are greatly inferior to Mario's, giving him sluggish movement in addition to negatively impacting both his neutral game and his edgeguarding skills. However, Dr. Mario compensates for his slower mobility with another external multiplier that increases the damage of his attacks in comparison, as all of his attacks deal noticably more damage without any compensation on knockback, which enables him to KO more easily as a result.
Like Mario, Dr. Mario has excellent frame data, with most of his standard attacks having low startup and ending lag (excluding forward smash, forward aerial, down aerial and special moves). As a result, Dr. Mario is effective at punishing his opponents, while he himself is difficult to punish. Like Mario, Dr. Mario has excellent combo starters in his up tilt and down tilt, since both attacks come out rather quickly, and deal low knockback to the opponent. All of Dr. Mario's aerials have decreased landing lag compared to his previous appearance in SSB4 (but still higher than Mario's), contributing to his combo game, and making setups easier to create.
However, much like Mario, Dr. Mario's range is fairly short, forcing him to fight close to his opponents and limiting his ability to fight opponents with long or disjointed range. Due to Dr. Mario's slower mobility, this is considerably riskier for him.
Grabs and throws
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Dr. Mario has been buffed in the transition from SSB4 to Ultimate. One of his biggest buffs were to his already above-average damage output; all of his moves deal much more damage (excluding his pummel and get-up attacks), which further supplements his damage-racking game and previously inconsistent KO ability. His recovery, while still poor, has nevertheless improved slightly; his Dr. Tornado has increased distance, and the readdition of directional air dodges gives him another option to possibly extend his recovery. His Megavitamins and Dr. Tornado have also been given notable improvements; the Megavitamins deal enough damage and knockback to cause opponents to tumble, and launch at a higher angle, making them viable as a combo starter and even giving them the ability to set up KOs. Dr. Tornado, outside of its improved recovery potential, has been significantly buffed; it has gained notoriety for being able to KO offstage effectively at very low percentages, and when combined with its increased distance, make it a deadly edgeguarding option. It also has gained heavy armor on startup if used on the ground, which further improves its safety and viability. Additionally, Dr. Mario has a new down aerial which can meteor smash opponents much like Mario's forward aerial, which when combined with the changes to Dr. Tornado give him an improved edgeguarding game.
However, Dr. Mario has received a few nerfs. Dr. Mario's up tilt has had its hitbox placement adjusted, giving it inferior range in front of and underneath him. Additionally, his grabs have increased ending lag, hindering their utility and combos. Furthermore, his already sub-par mobility is slower, especially in comparison to the rest of the cast, given the nerfs to his air speed and jump height. His overall mobility remains largely unaltered from his previous appearance, resulting in him now being much slower relative to the roster, considering as most other fighters have received buffs to their mobility.
Compared to Mario, Dr. Mario is still a slower and stronger clone of him. However, he is not classified as an Echo Fighter. There is currently no confirmed reason for this oddity, though it is likely due to Dr. Mario debuting in Melee rather than SSB4 or Ultimate as with the other Echo Fighters. Aside from having an updated idle animation, slightly higher traction compared to Mario, an altered animation for his side special, as well as receiving a new back throw and down aerial, he has not been further decloned. He has also received many of the same changes as Mario.
Compared to his appearance in SSB4, his damage-racking potential has increased and his recovery is safer and better overall (though it is still considered among the worst in the game). Because of these changes, he is better in Ultimate, achieving some representation from players like Locus and Lui$. However, Dr. Mario's overall tournament representation is poor in spite his buffs, as he is regarded as a low or even bottom-tier character, with most players drawing comparisons to Mario being a much better character, contrasting Dr. Mario’s slow speed, and abysmal recovery. As such, his buffs may not be as significant as other changes that most characters got. His tier placement is questionable due to the young meta of Ultimate.
Throws and other attacks
Like Mario, Dr. Mario has received a mixture of minor buffs and nerfs. In 1.1.0, Super Sheet was buffed, as reflected projectiles are now somewhat stronger. 3.0.0 nerfed the shield damage of Megavitamins like with most other projectiles, but it also slightly improved Dr. Mario's Final Smash as well. Overall, these changes have had little to no effect whatsoever on Dr. Mario's competitive viability, and he is still generally regarded as a below-average character in the current metagame.
For a gallery of Dr. Mario's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Dr. Mario's competitive history in Ultimate has played out fairly similarly to his Smash 4 self: while initially met with intrigue, he slowly fell out of favor, oftentimes being perceived simply as a worse version of Mario. Although the game engine allowing improved access to his out-of-shield options such as his up smash and Super Jump Punch, he was seen as a low- to mid-tier character in the early metagame, with his most exploitable flaws from Smash 4 still being prevalent: sluggish approach and short distanced recovery. Although Lui$ would place well with him, he only used Dr. Mario as a secondary and eventually dropped him, worsening his representation.
Although Dr. Mario hasn't been changed much in subsequent patches, thanks to the efforts of players such as Oryon, Fons, and Tsumusuto, both who have performed well at regional and national-level tournaments, more people have been inspired to play the character. This allowed Dr. Mario to slowly gain more recognition in the competitive scene and improve his representation. While he's not considered quite as good as regular Mario, players have managed to produce good results using what strengths the character does have.
Classic Mode: Colorful Treatment Plan
Dr. Mario's opponents are all trios of the same character in red, blue, and yellow costumes, referencing the three viruses: Fever, Chill, and Weird.
Role in World of Light
Although Dr. Mario does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Dr. Mario has his own awakening battle separate from that of Mario, who appears in the opening cutscene.
Dr. Mario can be awakened in a cloud that is found on a pathway connected by a ribbon that also leads to a city-like area.
Dr. Mario's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Dr. Mario in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with the fighter's artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video