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.
As a clone of Mario, Dr. Mario is a middleweight that can wall jump. Like his normal self, Dr. Mario also has excellent frame data: when not counting special moves, the overall start-up lag of his normal moveset is very fast. As a result, Dr. Mario is both difficult to punish and very effective at punishing. Although the two share an overwhelming number of identical animations and even the exact same values for certain attributes (weight, falling speed, fast falling speed and gravity), Dr. Mario nevertheless has a number of traits that differ from his normal self. Like Mario, Dr. Mario's height is below-average.
Dr. Mario functions like a stronger, yet slower Mario, owing to the implementation of multipliers to the majority of his moveset and some of his attributes. Most of Dr. Mario's attacks deal more damage than Mario's equivalent moves. Conversely, his walking and dashing speeds are noticeably slower, his air speed and air acceleration are slower, and his jump and double jump's initial speeds are slower, which is equivalent to their heights being slightly lower. These multipliers result in Dr. Mario being distinctly affected by passive equipment physics, in which he specifically possesses a higher Attack value and a slower Speed value. Although Dr. Mario's lower jump height makes his short hop more effective than Mario's, these modified attributes collectively render his overall mobility as sub-par. His wall jump and ledge jump also cover less distance as a result. Conversely, Dr. Mario's higher overall damage output results in him being noticeably more efficient at KOing in comparison to Mario.
Other noticeable differences between Dr. Mario and Mario are seen in their movesets and, by extension, their playstyles. Although Dr. Mario's overall frame data is only very slightly slower than Mario's (if even at all), his higher overall damage output and slower overall mobility make him unable to use a healthy balance of offense and defense like his normal self. Instead, Dr. Mario is much better suited to a bait-and-punish playstyle. On a related note, Dr. Mario's combo game is less varied and consistent compared to his normal self's, especially with regard to aerial combos. Despite this, his combos deal respectable damage in spite of their fairly short lengths, similarly to characters like Incineroar.
Dr. Mario's grounded moveset has plenty of utility in spite of his slow speed. Neutral attack is Dr. Mario's fastest attack, and the first two hits can lock opponents. Forward tilt is a great get-off-me option, and possesses situational KO potential at very high percentages unlike Mario's version. Up tilt is a decent anti-air and juggling tool that can KO at very high percentages, and it can also combo into itself, neutral aerial, up aerial, back aerial and Super Jump Punch, but is not as effective as a combo starter as his down tilt; however, the move's horizontal range is shorter than in SSB4, and its hitboxes start from a higher position, allowing shorter, crouching or prone characters to potentially low-profile the move. Down tilt is one of Dr. Mario's best combo starters; although it is short-ranged, it is very reliable at a wide range of percentages, with its lower knockback scaling compared to Mario's even allowing it to combo at percentages where Mario's would not work, and depending on the percentage, it can lead into neutral attack, forward tilt, up tilt (only on certain characters), itself, up smash (only on certain characters), down smash, neutral aerial, up aerial, back aerial and Super Jump Punch. His dash attack has vertical knockback, allowing it to serve as a combo starter but hindering its edgeguarding potential. His forward smash, while slower than his other smash attacks, is extremely powerful for an attack of its speed, especially if the sweetspot connects; unlike Mario's, it possesses the electric effect, has shorter range, and the sweetspot and sourspot hitboxes are swapped around. Up smash functions more similarly to Luigi's version than to Mario's version, as it launches the opponent diagonally instead of vertically, and will launch them in the opposite direction of where Dr. Mario is facing as long as they are in front of him; compared to Luigi's, however, it launches at a lower angle, and it has lower base knockback than both Mario and Luigi's up smashes. Nevertheless, up smash's launch angle does make it much better at edgeguarding or setting up edgeguards than both Mario and Luigi's versions, and its higher damage output and knockback scaling compared to both of them also makes it a highly lethal KOing option. His down smash is his fastest smash attack, hitting on both sides (with the back hit being stronger than the front hit), and like Mario's version, it is useful for punishing rolls.
Like Mario, Dr. Mario possesses a decent grab game. His overall grab range is average, but each of his grabs have minimal start-up and ending lag. Forward throw is useful for initiating edgeguards; back throw is one of the strongest back throws in the game; up throw is a decent combo starter that can combo into up tilt (certain characters only) up aerial, neutral aerial, back aerial and Super Jump Punch; and down throw is his most effective combo throw, being able to combo into up tilt (certain characters only), up smash (certain characters only) neutral aerial, up aerial, back aerial, Super Jump Punch and Dr. Tornado depending on the opponent's percentage.
Like his normal self, Dr. Mario's air game is above-average. Neutral aerial is a "reverse sex kick": its clean hitbox deals minimal damage and knockback, whereas its late hitbox deals more damage. Thanks to it hitting on frame 3 and having low landing lag, its clean hitbox is ideal for set-ups. Conversely, its late hitbox is decent at edgeguarding, due to its long hitbox duration and larger hitbox than the late hit of Mario's equivalent move. Forward aerial has considerable start-up lag, but its clean hitbox makes it one of the strongest aerials in the game; as such, it is lethal when SHFFed against unwary opponents that are near the edge. Back aerial is also fast, auto-cancels in a short hop, and possesses a powerful clean hitbox, traits which collectively make it viable for KOing, edgeguarding and approaching. Up aerial's horizontal launching angle grants its beginning and ending frames decent combo potential into Super Jump Punch and back aerial, respectively, at low to medium percentages. This angle also makes its beginning frames capable of edgeguarding, unlike his normal self's up aerial. However, up aerial's launch angle also makes it much less effective at starting combos when SHFFed or juggling compared to Mario's. His new down aerial, while having slow startup, is a powerful meteor smash, making it an excellent option for edgeguarding; it is also an extremely solid combo starter with an extremely wide range of follow-ups on grounded opponents depending on their percentage, including neutral attack, forward tilt, up tilt, down tilt, dash attack, forward smash, up smash, down smash, grab, all aerial attacks (including itself), Super Jump Punch and Dr. Tornado.
With regard to special moves, Megavitamins travel farther in the air without landing compared to Mario's Fireball, and they bounce twice instead of three times; they also have altered knockback, allowing for a wider range of follow-ups. Super Sheet has more vertical range but less horizontal range than Cape, but its aerial version completely lacks the stalling effect of Mario's version, completely removing its recovery potential; it also has a 1.6× reflection multiplier, making reflecting projectiles with it more rewarding compared to doing so with Mario's Cape.
Unlike F.L.U.D.D., Dr. Tornado is an effective recovery option, with repeated mashing of the special move button allowing Dr. Mario to rise upward with it. It also deals damage. When coupled with its high damage output, very high knockback scaling and autolink angle, it is useful for edge-guarding, warding off edgeguarders, and even out-prioritizing attacks, and it also possesses excellent KO potential. However, Dr. Tornado's much shorter range makes it much riskier to use for edgeguarding compared to F.L.U.D.D. Due to Super Jump Punch consisting of a powerful clean hitbox and a weak late hitbox instead of multiple hitboxes like Mario's, it actually functions more similarly to Ryu's Shoryuken or Marth's Dolphin Slash instead. As a result, its clean hitbox makes it a viable KOing option unlike Mario's. Super Jump Punch is also an extremely effective out of shield option thanks to its frame 3 startup, lile Mario's version.
However, Dr. Mario's flaws are significantly more noticeable in comparison to Mario's. The most prominent one is his lackluster mobility, which hinders his ability to approach opponents, and renders him vulnerable to zoning and circle camping from characters with strong projectile games and high mobility, respectively, similarly to Ganondorf and Incineroar; unlike those two characters, however, Dr. Mario has an effective projectile in Megavitamins, a smaller hurtbox, effective out of shield options, and a decent reflector in Super Sheet, giving him a better defensive game in comparison. Additionally, Dr. Mario shares Mario's notable weakness of having short range in his attacks, which can give him trouble against characters with long or disjointed hitboxes; whereas Mario's faster mobility allows him to somewhat circumvent this weakness, especially against characters with poor mobility and/or frame data, Dr. Mario is less capable of weaving in and out of his opponent's range, making such characters much more difficult for him to deal with. Dr. Mario's sluggish mobility compounds another notorious weakness—his recovery. Despite being able to wall jump and the fact that Dr. Tornado is a much better recovery option than Cape, the combination of his slow air speed, low jump height, slow air acceleration and Super Jump Punch's mediocre travel distance results in his recovery being predictable like Mario's.
Due to his overall recovery granting noticeably less vertical distance compared to Mario's, Dr. Mario is very vulnerable to gimping and edgeguards. As a result, it is optimal for him to read the opponent when trying to return to the stage, as well as knowing when and how to make use of Dr. Tornado, which has a huge amount of ending lag (33 frames, aerial version) and cannot sweetspot edges. Due to his short recovery distance, any sufficiently strong attacks, particularly semi-spikes, may launch him too far away to recover properly. Lastly, Dr. Mario is outclassed in certain aspects by other characters: in particular, Zero Suit Samus has much better overall mobility; Shulk has much more range; and Snake is much better at zoning.
Overall, Dr. Mario's strengths are outweighed by his weaknesses. His fast frame data enables him to pressure, combo and/or punish the opponent effectively at close range, while his above-average damage output makes him capable of KOing easily. Unlike Mario, however, his slow mobility hinders his neutral game so much that he is largely reliant on baiting and punishing. By extension, his sub-par recovery makes him a less capable edgeguarder compared to his normal self, and he retains his normal self's lack of range as well.
Differences from Mario
Despite not being an Echo Fighter of Mario, Dr. Mario is still very much a full clone of Mario. That said, he uses external modifiers to most of his stats rather than directly modifying them, so he sports subpar mobility compared to Mario. 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.
Aside from that, Dr. Mario also has other differences in his moveset. These include, but are not limited to, his dash attack launching upward, his up smash launching opponents behind him, his forward smash possessing an electric effect, his back throw involving lifting the opponent upward then swiftly launching them backward, his neutral aerial being a "reverse sex kick," his forward aerial not being a meteor smash, his down aerial being a powerful single-hit meteor smash, his Megavitamins not being absorbable, Super Sheet possessing more vertical range but less horizontal range, Super Jump Punch being a powerful singular hit, and the retention of Dr. Tornado as his down special move.
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 and mix up 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, along with Little Mac and Ganondorf). Because of these changes, he is better in Ultimate, but nowhere as close to his Melee incarnation, where he was a high or mid tier. In the early metagame, he has seen results in the competitive scene, achieving some representation from players like Locus and Lui$. However, Dr. Mario's overall tournament representation has been poor throughout the game's lifespan, making his true tier standing debatable; while some such as Goblin believe he is underrated due to his strong punishes and high damage output, he is generally regarded as a mid, 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. While Dr. Mario gained substantial buffs to his damage racking and edgeguarding potential in patch 7.0.0, reception has been mixed on whether they improve him enough to raise his tier standing.
Throws and other attacks
Initially, Dr. Mario had 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 had little to no effect whatsoever on Dr. Mario's competitive viability.
However, 7.0.0 gave Dr. Mario more noticeable buffs. His down tilt has received reduced knockback scaling and increased hitstun which improves its utility as a combo starter and grants it combo potential even at percents where Mario's stops working, down aerial has a longer hitbox duration, and strong moves such as Super Jump Punch have been made better for KOing and out of shield option. Despite the notable buffs, the overall opinion on him remains the same and that his base fighter, Mario, outshines him in nearly every category. Nevertheless, the buffs he’s received have prevented him from dropping further.
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
Although his power, out-of-shield options, and damage-racking capabilities were improved in the transition to Ultimate, Dr. Mario has been consistently perceived as an inferior version of Mario. While Lui$, Stroder, and Locus achieved decent success very early on, his recurring flaws from Smash 4 would still remain prominent, as his sluggish speed, atrocious recovery, and mediocre range would only highlight his still poor approach options. However, he does have a few strengths over Mario, such as his out of shield game and KO power with back throw and Dr. Tornado. Even with these specific strengths, both of Doc's best players would eventually drop him or relegate him as a secondary in favor of Terry and Fox.
Dr. Mario would arguably only get worse throughout subsequent patches, as characters such as Palutena, Samus, and Lucina would continue to hinder him in competitive play. Even with players such as Oryon, Fons, and Tsumusuto achieving notable success with the character, top players such as Mr.R, Samsora, and Dark Wizzy continue to see him as a low tier character, with some like ESAM and Maister viewing him as one of the worst characters in the game. Some people asserted their argument for Doc to connect to Mario as a better version. However, his viability continues to remain questionable. For example, ZeRo, Nairo, Armada, and Leffen now believe Dr. Mario is a mid tier due to his scary attributes and improved punish game after 7.0.0. ESAM and MkLeo also believed Dr. Mario's buffs helped him in certain character matchups he struggled with prior, such as their mains Pikachu and Joker, respectively. In addition, Goblin views him as a high tier and says that Doc is underrated after 7.0.0 because of his improved combo game and out of shield options. Lui$ is thinking of picking him back up as a co-main with Fox due to these buffs.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
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. The stage before Master Hand with the trio of Warios references their rivarly from Dr. Mario 64.
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