Little Mac (SSB4)

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This article is about Little Mac's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Little Mac.
Little Mac
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Little Mac
PunchOutSymbol.svg
Universe Punch-Out!!
Availability Starter
Final Smash Giga Mac
Tier E (43)
LittleMacHeadSSB4-U.png
Little Mac Punches In!
—Introduction Tagline

Little Mac (リトル・マック, Little Mac) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. He was revealed during a Nintendo Direct on February 13th, 2014,[1] which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the North American release of Punch-Out!![2] Instead of retaining Brawl's 3D version of his original design from the NES version of Punch-Out!!, Little Mac now sports his updated design from the Wii version of Punch-Out!! Despite this, he is now voiced by Kōsuke Toriumi instead of Matt Harty, the latter of whom voiced him in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!

Little Mac is currently ranked 43rd out of 58 in the tier list, placing him in the upper portion of the E tier. Little Mac's greatest strength lies in the sheer effectiveness of his ground game; in addition to his outstanding grounded mobility, high traction, and fast/long-ranged dodges, he possesses the overall fastest grounded moveset. Little Mac's grounded moveset also boasts impressive combo potential, a high damage output, and strong KO potential.[3] Notably, his neutral and tilt attacks can out-prioritize other attacks thanks to their anti-rebounding priority, and his smash attacks grant super armor during their use. Lastly, Little Mac's special moveset provides useful tools when grounded, allowing him to tank, re-position, or retaliate against combos when the opportunity arises; in particular, his unique Power Meter allows him to quickly gain an advantage by KOing with a well-positioned KO Uppercut combo or read.

However, Little Mac's notoriously lackluster aerial attributes give him little to no defense when airborne.[3] His poor aerial mobility and low-utility air attacks make aerial combat extremely risky, while his status as a fast-falling lightweight with low jumps and a notoriously weak overall recovery make him glaring susceptible to gimping, juggling, aggressive edge-guarding, and combos, each of which can result in him being KO'd quickly. Little Mac's ground game is also not fundamentally perfect despite its effectiveness, owing to his attacks generally lacking shieldstun and dealing minimal shield damage, while his grab game is lackluster; his attacks and grabs also have short ranges, which can give him problems against characters with disjointed ranges, such as Marth and Corrin. Lastly, Little Mac's excellent ground game is offset by his sheer reliance on staying grounded, which makes it extremely difficult for him to contend with platform camping and ground-level projectiles, especially if he is required to use his double jump. By extension, this also gives Mac a linear neutral game.

As a result of his polarized attributes and risky playstyle, Little Mac maintains only an average level of representation, with few dedicated mains. Despite his results being rather volatile, he has managed to achieve some success: Cagt and Destany have consistently achieved very high placings at local and regional tournaments, the latter of whom has also won a number of local tournaments, while Sol, Vash, and Alphicans have each achieved a handful of respectable placings at regional and national tournaments.

Attributes[edit]

Little Mac is a lightweight who, contrary to his name, is actually of average height. He performs strongly on the ground, but much less effectively in the air,[3] with his mobility being measured in a way that reflects this. Little Mac has the eighth fastest walking speed, the third fastest dashing speed, and is tied with Zero Suit Samus and Wario for the third highest traction. Altogether, these attributes give him arguably the best out of shield game of any character. His sidestep and rolls are also the fastest in the game, with the latter also being long-distanced, which makes it easy for Little Mac to punish grounded attacks, even those with quick start-up. Little Mac's dash animation, when coupled with his short frame, also allows him to "pseudo-crouch" under many attacks with high hitboxes or certain projectiles, such as Hadoken and uncharged Water Shuriken. His below average gravity and fast falling speed also give him exceptional vertical endurance for a lightweight, while his fast air dodge (surpassed only by Mewtwo's) and high wall jump (surpassed only by Lucario's) give him decent protection against edge-guarders so long as he is near the stage. Conversely, Little Mac's aerial traits are notably sub-par: although his air speed is average, his jump and double jump are tied with Ryu and Ganondorf's as the fourth lowest, respectively, and his air acceleration is the second slowest. Due to these latter attributes, it is mandatory for Mac to stay on the ground whenever possible.

Little Mac's greatest strength is his incredibly useful ground game. None of his grounded moves have more than 15 frames of start-up or 30 frames of ending lag (barring his up smash, which has 35 frames); his neutral attack is notably tied with Zero Suit Samus' for the fastest in the game, while his tilt attacks are among the fastest in their respective categories. Despite being a lightweight, Little Mac's smash attacks have outstanding damage outputs, which grant him impressive KO potential.[3] Additionally, all of his grounded moves have high utility: his weaker attacks are effective at starting combos, whereas his strongest attacks have proportionately low ending lag despite their speed and power. This makes Little Mac's ground game immensely useful, as his ability to easily find openings before racking up damage and quickly KOing opponents forces his opponents to play very cautiously. His jab canceled neutral attack, up tilt, and down tilt are great combo starters, with his down tilt being especially effective thanks to its vertical launching angle and low knockback scaling allowing it to combo into any move aside from his back aerial, down aerial, and Straight Lunge. Altogether, these moves grant him a very fast and unique grounded combo game, in addition to giving him an abundance of grounded KOing options.

Little Mac's aforementioned frame data also allows him to break shields by pressuring his opponent to keep their shield up, though if this is not possible to do in a given situation, the speed can instead initiate shield stabbing on many characters, with a prominent example being Ganondorf. He additionally possesses a very fast semi-spike in his down smash, giving him a deadly edge-guarding move. Lastly, some of his moves have high hitlag, most notably his downward angled forward smash, which makes said moves difficult to punish out of shield.

In addition to their strength, Little Mac's grounded attacks are almost impossible to interrupt. His neutral attack and tilt attacks, in particular, boast a form of priority known as anti-rebounding priority, which allows Little Mac's attack will continue uninterrupted while the opponent's attack is not only canceled out, but it also results in them suffering from lag relative to how powerful the attack they used was. However, this trait only applies to an opponent's grounded attacks. With this level of priority, Little Mac can take advantage of the opponent's more powerful attacks, hindering them with large amounts of lag while allowing Mac to punish immediately because of the low ending lag of his neutral attack and tilt attacks. Aside from these, his smash attacks are also difficult to interrupt; while they follow standard rules of priority, they have super armor from start-up to the end of their final hitboxes, making them impossible to interrupt during this period of time, and thus allowing Mac to effectively tank an opponent's attack as a unique way of punishing them.[3] All of these factors make him arguably the most challenging opponent to deal with on the ground.

Little Mac's special moves also have some very useful options. Straight Lunge can be long-ranged, boasts very high power and grants damage-based launch resistance when it is sufficiently charged, allowing him to tank low damage attacks and retaliate immediately afterward. It can also be used to escape some weak multiple hit moves, such as neutral attacks, Witch Twist, and Greninja's up aerial, in the event he gets caught in the middle of them. It can also be used as a situational move mid-match to enforce a bad approach or input from a reckless opponent. However, Straight Lunge is held back by its very slow speed and considerable ending lag even if uncharged, limiting its usage and making it easily intercepted in almost every other case, which offsets its overwhelmingly high strength. Jolt Haymaker propels Mac with a leap that travels far, can be unleashed on command and grants intangibility during start-up, making it ideal for tech-chasing, re-positioning, and escaping or punishing laggier moves. Despite this, it does not stop at an edge upon performing it, which can inadvertently lead to an inevitable self-destruct if used near an edge.

Rising Uppercut covers fairly long vertical distance and grants brief intangibility upon start-up if used on the ground, making it Little Mac's most reliable aerial finisher, and a very good out of shield option. Its last hit also has extremely high knockback, making it quite a potent finisher, especially when used as a follow-up from his up tilt or his down throw. Its extremely fast start-up and initial intangibility also allow Mac to use it out of even the smallest pause between an opponent's combos, and thus potentially shift momentum in his favor. Slip Counter is overall the fastest counterattack in the game, and grants intangibility at both start-up and during its counterattack. In addition, it is great for escaping pressure (especially aerial combos), and is one of the few that slides a distance before attacking.

Lastly, the Power Meter is a mechanic unique to Little Mac.[3] It is a visible meter that charges by either dealing or receiving damage.[3] When it is fully charged, Straight Lunge is replaced by the KO Uppercut, which is strong enough to KO any character at roughly 30%.[3] It also has fast start-up, is unblockable (except on Witch Time), and can be used as a follow-up from his tilts for almost guaranteed KO combos, allowing it to easily turn the tide of a match upon a successful hit. However, it is lost after holding it for 4 seconds and then being tumbled by any move (except footstool jumping), which enforces quick and precise use. Additionally, Little Mac must either receive 100% or deal 333% (assuming the player is never hit) in order to be granted the usage of KO Uppercut, while KO Uppercut itself has considerable ending lag regardless of whether or not it hits. As a result, it is unarguably one of the riskiest, yet most rewarding attacks in the entire series.

Despite his impressive strengths, Little Mac is held back by two very easily exploitable weaknesses. The most serious and notorious of the two is his recovery.[3] As mentioned earlier, Little Mac's aerial mobility is arguably the worst in SSB4, as his very fast falling speed makes meteor smashes, semi-spikes, and even footstool jumps capable of almost instantaneously gimping him, even if he is undamaged and especially if he cannot use his double jump. His special moves also receive drastic downgrades when used in the air, further worsening his air game. Straight Lunge loses its long distance and high power, to the point where it cannot KO even well beyond 150%, and suffers from drastically higher ending lag, to the point where one would not be able to recover even after jumping from the edge of a stage and using it. By extension, KO Uppercut loses the majority of its power, to the point that it only KOs around 150%. Jolt Haymaker loses half of its momentum and start-up intangibility, Rising Uppercut loses half of its distance, and Slip Counter's counterattack loses its intangibility.

Even though Jolt Haymaker and Rising Uppercut are Little Mac's two most effective KO options in the air, they are significantly poor as recovery moves, as they grant poor distance overall, have small edge sweetspots, and lack of invincibility frames until they conclude. These two traits result in Mac being unable to grab an edge unless he is directly beside it, and an opponent being able to launch him away before he grabs on, even if his arm pokes above the edge. Even though Straight Lunge and Slip Counter can be used as recovery options, they are very situational as such and require extremely precise timing in order to be properly used for recovering. Unsurprisingly, these traits collectively result in Little Mac having the most difficulty with recovering out of any character in the game, which in turn results in him being commonly cited as having the overall worst recovery in the game.

Furthermore, Little Mac has an infamously weak air game.[3] All of his aerial attacks can auto-cancel with a short hop, while each one has certain perks: neutral aerial can initiate intricate combos[4], forward and back aerials are semi-spikes, up aerial is a fast anti-air attack, and down aerial is the fastest meteor smash in the game. However, his air game is overwhelmingly offset by his aerials' relatively high landing lag, very short ranges, and abysmal power, which results in Mac's aerial moveset having the lowest damage output in the game. These factors make him an easy target in the air, as he has no means of defending himself outside of point-blank range. This is further compounded by the fact that none of his aerials make the opponents reliably flinch until medium to high percents. Additionally, Little Mac's down aerial is unable to reliably meteor smash opponents until around very high percents, while its sweetspot only lasts for 1 frame. Unsurprisingly, Mac has no way of reliably KOing in the air without Jolt Haymaker, Rising Uppercut or, in extreme cases, Slip Counter, all of which are very likely to result in inevitable sacrificial KOs if used off-stage.

Little Mac's low endurance and vulnerability to combos further compound his weak air game. While his below average gravity and fast falling speed gives him high vertical endurance for a character of his weight class, these (when combined with his previously mentioned attributes) make him extremely susceptible to combos and juggling, with one or two short combos being enough to force him to KO percentage due to his low weight and weak recovery. The super armor granted by his smash attacks are also a double-edged sword, as tanking an attack simply tacks on even more damage that can be game-ending in the future. As a result, Little Mac is very prone to momentum shifts, as his underwhelming aerial presence can allow opponents to combo him very easily, and in some extreme situations, zero-to-death him with a single attack or combo even if he has been dominating the entire match. These issues are what force Little Mac to almost always stay grounded, as he cannot afford to be trapped within aerial combos and dragged offstage just for initiating an aerial approach.

While Little Mac's attacks have decent ranges and fast speeds, spacing is still essential for him to avoid getting punished. Neutral attack, up tilt and dash attack are particularly prone to this, as they lack hitlag and have just enough ending lag to be punished out of shield. With the exception of his downward angled forward smash and sweetspotted up smash, none of his attacks deal extra shield damage, making it deceptively difficult to get free punishes on opponents who overuse their shield. Characters with counterattacks can also be detrimental to Little Mac, as a countered smash attack is often enough to be fatal due to the high power of his smash attacks (although the super armor granted by both up and down smashes last long enough to endure quicker counterattacks, such as forward-held Vision). Little Mac is also the character most adversely affected by stale-move negation and projectiles; as only half of his moveset has a respectable level of utility, Mac may find his finishers KOing later than usual compared to other powerhouses, while his dependence on being grounded leaves him comparatively vulnerable to ground-hugging projectiles without the use of his fast dodges and Jolt Haymaker. With all these considered, Little Mac's polarized playstyle makes him the most notoriously affected by stages, with several competitively legal stages being highly campable by opponents or too risky for him to maneuver simply due to the existence of platforms, the most infamous being the now-banned Duck Hunt.

Lastly, even though Little Mac's ground game is immensely effective, not all areas of it are perfect. Despite having throws that all deal passable damage along with a fast pummel that can build up damage on its own, Little Mac is tied with Cloud for the third shortest grab range among the cast. The ending lag and knockback values of his throws also prevent them from starting combos of any sort under normal circumstances: down throw is able to combo into aerial Jolt Haymaker for damage, or Rising Uppercut to potentially score a KO, but can be avoided with DI, while forward throw is able to combo into a dash attack or Jolt Haymaker, but only if the opponent misses a tech. As such, Little Mac's throws are generally only used to deal damage, as he cannot add any grab options that can truly give him the upper hand when an opponent is shielding.

Little Mac has a number of useful custom moves at his disposal. True to its name, Flaming Straight Lunge is a flaming variation that also hits multiple times and is a semi-spike that charges almost twice as quickly, but is considerably weaker and covers less distance. Stunning Straight Lunge is an electrical variation that travels farther and faster than Straight Lunge, but at the cost of damage and launch resistance. Grounding Blow moves higher and can bury grounded opponents or meteor smash aerial opponents, but its lower power and downward momentum make it much less effective for recovering. Compact Counter is weaker and faster, opening up opportunities for follow-ups, but lacks the default version's immense power and one-hit KO potential. Dash Counter is a double-edged sword, since its added momentum can either greatly help or greatly hinder his recovery. It should be noted, however, that none of these moves are unarguably better than Little Mac's default special moves. As such, the best option depends entirely on the player's preference.

Ultimately, optimal Little Mac play requires the player to fight very much like a boxer: keeping constant control of the middle of the stage and effectively reacting to the slightest openings, minimizing any damage taken with his extreme ground mobility, and staying out of the air as much as possible. Little Mac has just as many strengths as he does weaknesses, though due to them being polarizing, his potential can be deceptively difficult to use to the fullest despite his straightforward fighting style; a single mistake is often enough to completely shut down his momentum, forcing him to optimize every recovery and opening. These aspects have resulted in Little Mac attaining average tournament representation, although he has achieved varying levels of success: Cagt has achieved several top 10 placings and a few top 25 placings at the local and regional levels respectively, while Destany has won several local tournaments in both singles and doubles play in addition to achieving a handful of high placings at the regional level. Lastly, dedicated mains like Sol, Vash, and Alphicans have each achieved a few respectable placings in singles play, and a few high placings in doubles play at the regional and national levels.

Update history[edit]

Little Mac has received a mix of buffs and nerfs, both direct and indirect, via game updates. His recovery was noticeably nerfed in update 1.0.4, though he has received minor buffs since update 1.0.6, such as giving some his specials longer lasting hitboxes, and also receiving knockback increases on Jolt Haymaker, making it a reliable KO option, even when stale. However, the changes to shield mechanics brought about in updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 have also considerably affected Little Mac for the better, as they improve his ability to pressure his opponents on shield, or even break shields more reliably.

Little Mac was further buffed in update 1.1.4, in which the damage outputs of his smash attacks were increased. While their knockback was compensated, their increased damage outputs make them even more devastating on hit than they already were, as well as safer on shield. In particular, his downward angled forward smash now possesses enough shieldstun to combo into his down or forward tilts, which in turn can break full shields. In addition, his up tilt's start-up was decreased by 1 frame while its duration was increased by 1 frame, which eliminated the blind spot it had near the front of Mac's torso.

Overall, Little Mac's ground game has been improved, making his most dominant trait even more imposing. However, the worsening of his already terrible recovery has resulted in it becoming even more exploitable.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Nerf Neutral attack's second and last hits deal 1% less damage: 3% → 2% (second), 8% → 7% (last).
  • Change The first hitbox of forward tilt's each hit has a lower x-offset: -5 → -3.8
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's SDI multiplier increased: 1x → 2x.
  • Nerf Aerial Jolt Haymaker's distance decreased by 10% and its speed decreased​.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Nerf Aerial KO Uppercut's duration decreased: frames 9-13 → 9-12.
  • Buff Jolt Haymaker and Grounding Blow's knockback increased: 25 (base)/95 (scaling) → 33/98, improving their KO potentials.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Neutral infinite finisher's start-up lag decreased: frame 6 → 5.
  • Buff Straight Lunge improved. Its fully charged start-up lag decreased: frame 7 → 6, its early hit's duration increased: frame 123 → 123-125 and its late hits' durations increased: frames 42-45 (uncharged)/frames 133-153 (fully charged) → 42-49/133-157.
  • Buff Jolt Haymaker's duration increased: frames 8-13 → 8-15.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Uncharged Stunning Straight Lunge deals 1% more damage: 10% → 11%.
  • Buff Fully charged Stunning Straight Lunge's knockback scaling increased: 60 → 70.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.4

  • Buff Up tilt has less startup (frame 5 → 4) and lasts one more frame (6 frames → 7).
  • Change Up tilt angle: 85° → 88°
  • Buff Forward smash deals 1% more damage: 19%/17% (up and side), 22% (down) → 21%/18%, 24% with compensated knockback (85/22 → 81/21).
  • Buff Up smash deals 1% more damage: 20%/15% → 21%/16% with compensated knockback (80/100 → 76/96)
  • Buff Down smash deals 1% more damage: 12% → 13% with compensated knockback (100 → 96).

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% A jab, followed by a hook, followed by an uppercut. If button mashed, Little Mac performs an extremely fast flurry of punches, followed by an uppercut. However, the neutral infinite can only be initiated if first two hits connect with an opponent. Due to it hitting on frame 1, it is tied with Zero Suit Samus' neutral attack as both the fastest neutral attack in the game, and the fastest attack of any kind, making it extremely useful as an out of shield option or to cover whiffed attacks. In addition to its speed, its anti-rebounding priority enables it to out-prioritize attacks within priority range and go on uninterrupted, such as negating Fox Illusion's hitbox. Thanks to its outstanding speed and quick interruptibility, it can be jab canceled for almost guaranteed KOs at high percents, including Rising Uppercut and KO Uppercut, or pressure opponents to keep their shield up, which can lead to shield break combos.
2%
7%
1% (loop), 3% (last)
Forward tilt   4% (hit 1), 8% (hit 2) A one-two combo. Due to it hitting on frame 4, it is the fastest forward tilt in the game. When coupled with its decent range, anti-rebounding priority, and its second hit's very high knockback scaling, it is a safe and reliable KOing option at high percents. It is based on the one-two combo he used as an Assist Trophy in Brawl.
Up tilt   9% An overhead arcing backfist. It covers the entirety of Little Mac's body, which allows him to use it as a quick option to punish overhead attacks or rolls. It can also combo into itself and Rising Uppercut at low percents if the opponent is close to him. It can also function as a somewhat safe approach option when it is pivoted while dashing, thanks to its anti-rebounding priority. It resembles Don Flamenco's Twirling Backhand used during Title Defense Mode in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!, albeit performed vertically instead of horizontally.
Down tilt   8% A crouching short straight-punch. Due to it hitting on frame 3, it is tied with Lucas, Ness, Meta Knight, and R.O.B.'s down tilts as the fastest down tilt in the game. It slightly launches opponents up into the air, and is often considered one of the best down tilts in the game, as its speed and excellent combo potential make it able to combo into almost all his attacks, most notably itself, forward smash, forward aerial, Jolt Haymaker and KO Uppercut at low to medium percents, and Jolt Haymaker or Rising Uppercut at high percents. Like forward and up tilts, it has anti-rebounding priority.
Dash attack   10% A lunging overhand. Due to its windbox hitting on frame 1, it is the fastest dash attack in the game. When coupled with its range and low ending lag, it can be used as a quick punishment option when an opponent is stuck in ending lag, and even combo into itself against heavyweights and fast-fallers. However, it is notoriously risky as an approach option because of it being extremely punishable on shield.
Forward smash   20% (hand), 18% (arm) Steps forward and throws one of three punch variations, depending on which angle the control stick/circle pad is tilted.[5] It has extremely fast start-up for its strength and respectable ending lag. However, this move can miss if the opponent is touching Little Mac, due to him stepping forward to perform it.

Up: An uppercut. It launches opponents vertically and has the largest hitbox out of all three punch variations, which makes it the easiest to connect. It grants super armor on frames 8-15. It resembles Little Mac's Star Punch and One-Star Punch in the NES and Wii versions of Punch-Out!!, respectively.

Forward: A cross. It has the highest knockback scaling out of all three punch variations. When spaced correctly, it is safe on shield against slower characters. It grants super armor on frames 8-15. It resembles the cross Little Mac hits King Hippo with during the cutscene in which he defeats Hippo in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!

Down: A body hook. It deals the most damage out of all three punch variations, but has extremely low knockback scaling. Its high shieldstun makes it safer on shield than the other two punch variations, and also makes it capable of breaking shields more reliably than any of Little Mac's other attacks. As of update 1.1.4, its deals enough damage and shieldstun to break full shields if a forward tilt is used immediately after it. It grants super armor on frames 9-15.

20% (hand), 18% (arm)
24%
Up smash   21% (clean), 16% (late) An uppercut. Its first frame has a sweetspot that deals flame damage and significant shield damage. Great for aerial protection or chasing down an opponent, as grounded opponents are likely to be hit by the sweetspot. It has noticeable ending lag, having the highest ending lag of all his grounded moves (35 frames), making it punishable if shielded. Despite its appearance, it only hits in front of Mac, although its sourspot can reach an opponent standing on Battlefield's low platforms. It also slightly moves Little Mac backward when used. It grants super armor on frames 8-11.
Down smash   13% Spins 180° to perform a quick, downward angled hook that hits quickly in both directions. Due to it hitting on frame 10, it is Little Mac's fastest smash attack. It is a semi-spike, hits on both sides, and has long range, all of which make it Mac's only reliable edge-guarding option and a difficult attack to punish. If an opponent is hit by the hitbox of Mac's upper arm, it is possible to drag them into the second hit at low percents, although this is difficult to do. It grants super armor on frames 7-10 and 15-17.
Neutral aerial   2% A downward angled jab. Due to it hitting on frame 2, it is the fastest neutral aerial in the game. When coupled with its very minimal ending lag, it can be used as a combo breaker of sorts when in the air. It is also capable of dragging aerial opponents back to the ground, warding off an opponent standing at the edge when used after an edge jump, and can even start intricate footstool jump combos. However, it is extremely risky because of its very short range and abysmal damage output.
Forward aerial   5% (hand), 4% (arm) A hook. It has slight start-up and a low damage output. It is a quick semi-spike, which makes it useful for edge-guarding, especially against characters with poor recoveries. However, its very short range makes this difficult to do so reliable. It can also be used as a follow-up from down tilt, although this can be difficult to perform.
Back aerial   6% (hand), 4% (arm) A backfist. Like forward aerial, it is a quick semi-spike that can be used either to edge-guard or fend off opponents. However, its awkward hitbox position makes this difficult to do so reliably.
Up aerial   5% (hand), 4% (arm) An upward arcing hook. Due to it hitting on frame 5, it is tied for the second fastest up aerial in the game, making it a somewhat useful aerial combo move. If used while near the ground, it can combo into up tilt and Rising Uppercut at high percents. However, its considerable ending lag and high landing lag makes it punishable if missed. It resembles the jump Little Mac performs during his victory animation in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
Down aerial   5% (hand), 4% (arm) A downward palm thrust. Due to it hitting on frame 7, it is the second fastest down aerial in the game. Its middle hitbox can meteor smash, which also makes it the fastest meteor smash in the game. However, it is also the weakest meteor smash in the game, and thus extremely ineffective against anyone but fast-fallers unless Little Mac footstool jumps on the opponent immediately after. Experienced players can use it to jab reset opponents by short hopping and then hitting a floored opponent before finishing them with any of Little Mac's attacks.
Grab   Clinches the opponent. Due to his grabs' moderate ending lag and his overall grab range being tied with Cloud's for the third shortest in the game, Little Mac's grabs are among the most ineffective in the game. However, his pivot grab has longer range, which is useful and easy to perform thanks to his outstanding ground speed. Another option to alleviate his grab's poor range is to perform a roll cancel grab, which is a very useful tool to catch the opponent during unexpected combos.
Pummel   2.1% A short straight-punch. A fairly fast pummel.
Forward throw   4% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Rears his arm back and throws an overhand. Its low knockback scaling can allow it to combo into dash attack or Jolt Haymaker or at low percents if the opponent misses a tech. It can also reliably set up edge-guards.
Back throw   4% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Spins the opponent around and throws an uppercut. It has the highest knockback scaling out of all of his throws, which allows it to KO near the edge. However, it only begins KOing at very high percents because of its throw hitbox's low damage output.
Up throw   4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) An uppercut. Due to being Little Mac's least damaging throw, and having almost nonexistent KO potential because of its base knockback and ending lag, it is least useful throw. It can lead into an aerial attack if the player reads the opponent's reaction correctly, although this is largely situational and unrewarding because of Mac's abysmal air game.
Down throw   4% (hit 1), 5% (throw) A double axe handle. It is a decent combo starter, as it can be followed up with a short-hopped Jolt Haymaker at 0%, or Rising Uppercut up to 200%, the latter of which is a KO combo. It can also combo into forward aerial at medium percents, which can then extend into down tilt for additional combos, or a down aerial lock if an opponent misses their tech. However, these combos are effective only if the opponent does not DI away. It resembles King Hippo's Hippo Squeeze 'n Squash used during Title Defense Mode in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
Floor attack (front)   7% Gets up while throwing a punch behind himself, then in front of himself. Very fast for a get-up attack.
Floor attack (back)   7% Gets up while throwing a punch in front of himself, then behind himself.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Gets up while throwing a punch in front of himself, then behind himself.
Edge attack   7% Throws a lunging punch while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Straight Lunge 14%/12%/9% (uncharged grounded), 25%/20% (fully charged grounded), 10%/7% (uncharged aerial), 15% (fully charged aerial), 35% (grounded KO Uppercut), 13% (aerial KO Uppercut) Rears his arm back and then throws a cross. It is chargeable, grants minimal heavy armor while charging, and moves Little Mac forward.[3] Although it covers more distance the longer it is charged, its damage output does not increase unless it is fully charged. When fully charged, it is one of the strongest moves in the game, making it optimal to use after a shield break. However, the fully charged version requires crucial positioning, due to having a blind spot at its beginning and high ending lag. If the Power Meter is fully charged, it becomes the KO Uppercut, an extremely fast and powerful uppercut.[3] Despite its name, is not a true one-hit KO, but instead KOs at approximately 30%, while also granting super armor on frames 8-9. However, KO Uppercut possesses a considerable amount of ending lag, making it punishable regardless if it hits or not.
Custom 1 Flaming Straight Lunge 1.5%/3% (uncharged grounded loop/last), 1.8%/6% (fully charged grounded loop/last), 1.2%/3% (uncharged aerial loop/last), 1.4%/5% (fully charged aerial loop/last), 35% (grounded KO Uppercut), 13% (aerial KO Uppercut) A flaming version that charges faster and hits multiple times. It can be used as for horizontal recovery if timed properly, but does not travel as far.
Custom 2 Stunning Straight Lunge 11%/7% (uncharged grounded), 20%/18% (fully charged grounded), 8%/5% (uncharged aerial), 12% (fully charged aerial), 35% (grounded KO Uppercut), 13% (aerial KO Uppercut) Travels much farther and faster, and paralyzes targets when fully charged before its knockback activates. It also propels Little Mac forward with horizontal momentum if partially charged, giving him a relatively useful recovery option that does not render him helpless. However, it deals slightly less damage and grants no super armor.
Side special Default Jolt Haymaker 14% An overhand version of the Superman punch. It can be used almost instantly by pressing the special button immediately after first pressing it. It propels Little Mac quite far,[3] to the point that it can allow him to leap over certain projectiles. The grounded version grants intangibility during frames 5-8/5-14 (if used early/late). It is advised not to use this attack around the edge of a stage, since it renders him helpless. However, it can be one of Mac's more useful recovery options off-stage, since it will quickly snap the edge. However, the aerial version is noticeably worse, as it lacks intangibility and covers less distance, especially if the punch is thrown early.
Custom 1 Grounding Blow 9% Leaps much higher and either buries grounded opponents, or meteor smashes aerial ones. However, it covers less horizontal movement, and propels Little Mac downward.
Custom 2 Guard Breaker 18% Deals more damage, grants super armor, and is unblockable. However, it travels slower, cannot be used instantly upon pressing the special button, and does not cover any distance if used immediately out of hitstun.
Up special Default Rising Uppercut 1% (loop), 3% (last) A right-handed, jumping corkscrew uppercut, followed immediately by a left-handed uppercut. The first uppercut hits multiple times, whereas the second uppercut hits once and has extremely high knockback.[3] The grounded version covers more vertical distance and grants more maneuverability, whereas the aerial version's vertical distance and maneuverability are half as effective in comparison. It also grants 3 frames of intangibility on start-up. Deceptively powerful, to the point that it can reliably KO at high percents, and is one of Little Mac's only reliable aerial finishers along with Jolt Haymaker. Conversely, it is extremely ineffective as a recovery, as it grants some of the lowest distance and horizontal maneuverability of any recovery move, and it only snaps to the edge if it starts or ends right next to one. It resembles Little Mac's Three-Star Punch in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
Custom 1 Tornado Uppercut 3%/4% Covers more distance, grants better maneuverability, and push opponents away thanks to the gust it emits. However, its overall damage output is lower and it has set knockback.
Custom 2 Rising Smash 16% (hit 1), 4% (hit 2) An electrical version that deals noticeably more damage and has higher knockback. However, it only hits twice, has higher start-up and ending lag, and covers considerably less distance unless used immediately from a double jump.
Down special Default Slip Counter 1.3x (min 10%) Assumes a full crouch stance and, if hit, immediately counterattacks by slipping inside to throw an uppercut.[3] Due to it coming out on frame 5, it is tied with Double Team and Witch Time as the fastest counterattack in the entire game. In the air, it can be used for horizontal recovery due to Mac being propelled forward during the slip, although this can be risky. It resembles Glass Joe's Delayed Right Hook used during Title Defense Mode in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
Custom 1 Compact Counter 0.8x (min 4%) Has a lower damage multiplier and less knockback, but is faster overall, which allows Little Mac to initiate follow-ups and improves its speed as a recovery option.
Custom 2 Dash Counter 1.1x (min 7%) Has a slightly lower damage multiplier and its counter window does not last as long, but Little Mac dashes forward upon counterattacking. The dash results in Mac being unable to attack opponents directly in front of him because of the dash generating a windbox, but it is more useful for both countering projectiles in order to close the gap between Mac and as a horizontal recovery option.
Final Smash Giga Mac Transforms into Giga Mac, his powered up transformation from the Wii version of Punch-Out!![3] Giga Mac's attacks are considerably stronger, with most of them dealing 2x more damage than Little Mac's attacks. This is especially evident with his non-angled and upward angled forward smash, sweetspotted up smash, and clean Straight Lunge, each of which are one-hit KOs when they are fully charged. Even his back throw and aerial attacks becomes viable KOing options: the former is stronger than Ness' back throw, while the latter are capable of KOing around 90%-100% while near the edge.

Power Meter[edit]

Little Mac has a unique mechanic called the Power Meter. When fully charged, it replaces his neutral special with the KO Uppercut, an extremely powerful uppercut. Although it was claimed by Masahiro Sakurai to be a one-hit KO attack,[6] this is not true. Nevertheless, it is strong enough to KO opponents at extremely low percents, depending on their weight. In keeping with Little Mac's abysmal air game, an aerial KO Uppercut deals significantly lower damage and knockback, to the point that it cannot KO an aerial opponent unless they are at least around 150%.

The Power Meter charges when Little Mac deals and/or receives damage. However, when he is attacked, the Power Meter will fill by double to quadruple the amount compared to if he hits an opponent. The Power Meter will also be maxed out if Mac receives exactly 100%. The uppercut can be canceled by another character's attack, blocked by a perfect shield or dodged, meaning that you have to catch opponents off-guard to guarantee it hits.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Walks onto the stage while throwing a series of punches before tossing his hooded sweatsuit off. If either of his sweatsuit alternate costumes are being used, he will still perform the tossing animation while keeping his sweatsuit on.
LittleMacOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Turns his back to the screen, bends down, then raises his fist triumphantly. Doc Louis may say "Hit 'em, baby!" (叩け!マック!, Thrash! Mac!)
  • Side taunt: Pulls the string of his right boxing glove tight with his teeth, then resumes his boxing stance while scoffing. Doc Louis may say "Let 'em have it, Mac!" (ぶちかませ!マック!, Hit them hard! Mac!)
  • Down taunt: Performs a series of punches while facing the screen. Doc Louis may say "Show 'em what you've got, Mac baby!" (お前のパンチを見せてやれ!, Let them see your punch!)
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
LittleMacUpTauntSSB4.jpg LittleMacSideTauntSSB4.jpg LittleMacDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

LittleMacIdlePose2WiiU.jpg LittleMacIdlePose1WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Little Mac Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Little Mac Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Little Mac! Get 'em back! Go! Go! Mac!
Pitch Group chant Male

Victory poses[edit]

Incomplete.png
A remix of the Won Match! jingle from the NES version of Punch-Out!!
  • Doc Louis holds up Little Mac's arm like a referee would after a boxing match, and cheers him on.
  • Shadowboxes with Doc Louis, then turns to the camera while holding his fist up triumphantly while Louis cheers him on.
  • Runs and turns his back towards the camera, briefly shuffles his feet, then spins before throwing a triumphant uppercut while Doc Louis cheers him on.
LittleMacPose1WiiU.gif LittleMacPose2WiiU.gif LittleMacPose3WiiU.gif

Unless the match is a Team Battle, all of Little Mac's victory poses involve Doc Louis. If Little Mac's team is victorious but he does not have the most points, Doc Louis will not appear and Mac will perform his second victory pose.

In all of Little Mac's victory poses, Doc Louis will say one of the following at random:

  • "(in tandem with the announcer) And the winner is... Little Mac! Hahaha!"
  • "Y'know, that belt looks good on you, son."
  • "Ya got what it takes, Mac!"
  • "Nice work, Mac. You got it all figured out."
  • "Way to go, Mac! You're the champ, baby!"
  • "Awesome win, Mac. Way to go!"
  • "You win, Mac!"
  • "Alright! I think I hear a chocolate bar callin'."
  • "Was that a little too easy for ya, son?"
  • "World Circuit's all yours, Mac!"
  • "Ahh, winnin' feels good, don't it?"

In all of Wireframe Mac's victory poses, Doc Louis will say one of the following at random:

  • "Nice moves, Mac. I could barely keep my eyes on ya, son."
  • "Ain't you flashy? You making my eyes water, son."
  • "You're lookin' mighty good, son. Just like old times, huh?"

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
LittleMacHeadSSB4-U.png Little Mac 2111 2113 2112 2211 2213
2212 2311 2313 2312 2121


Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Since SSB4's release, Little Mac has been a very contentious character among casual and hardcore players alike. He was very controversial among less experienced players who struggled against him (most notably on For Glory), due to his excellent grounded game, abundance of KOing options and outstanding frame data. However, he has never been considered a serious threat in competitive play due to his abysmal recovery and nearly useless air game, making his endurance and aerial escape options significantly poor in a highly-skilled environment where flaws were heavily capitalized upon. Players were quick to note that Mac's vulnerability to juggling and gimping would allow a competent opponent to swiftly KO him more often than not, and with his inability to move safely between platforms, he was derided as only being able to fight effectively on Final Destination.

With a lack of high-level results during SSB4's early days and the gradually shifting perceptions of the community, Little Mac's popularity diminished immensely, due to him being frequently perceived as a gimmicky character in competitive play, especially after he was nerfed in update 1.0.4. This was reflected in him being tied with Duck Hunt for 43rd/44th place on the first tier list.

However, the efforts of dedicated Little Mac players like Sol have shown that Little Mac can perform well when played intelligently, even on stages with platforms, and proved that Mac's comeback potential was significant enough to be a considerable mindgame despite his aerial weaknesses. Furthermore, the buffs Little Mac received from game updates made his grounded moves even more rewarding and granted him more reliable combo potential from his grounded game. Improvements in Little Mac's metagame also resulted in newfound techniques for him, which further reinforced his fearsome comeback potential. While he is still considered too polarized to be truly viable in singles play, Little Mac is considered to fare much better in doubles play, thanks to a teammate covering his weaknesses and assisting him in setting up his powerful attacks.

These traits, combined with the expansion to his metagame and better, albeit still rare results, resulted in him being ranked 39th on the second tier list. While he has since dropped back to 43rd on the third and current tier list, Little Mac's tier placement remains very contentious even within the current metagame, due to his results being relatively sparse and volatile.

Reveal trailer[edit]

Trophies[edit]

Little Mac
ntsc This little boxer from the Punch-Out!! series makes up in heart what he lacks in height. He wasn't afraid to take on the boxing champs, and he's not afraid of the Nintendo stars. In Smash Bros., he packs a serious punch. When his KO Meter fills up, wade in and trigger a devastating uppercut.
pal The little guy from Punch-Out!! has come a long way since his humble beginnings fighting the almost literal boxing giants. Above his damage display, you'll notice he has a little meter that fills up as he fights. When it's full, you'll see a flashing "KO" there. That means you can unleash a devastating uppercut!
NES: Punch-Out!! (10/1987)
Wii: Punch-Out!! (05/2009)
Little Mac (Alt.)
ntsc No matter his opponent, Little Mac always puts his best fist forward. He enters a charge state before unleashing his Straight Lunge special and can unleash it while charging by pressing the button again. He won't flinch while charging. At max charge, the launching power of this move is scary!
pal Little Mac always puts his best fist forward, especially when you use Straight Lunge! You start by charging, then unleash the punch whenever you press the button again. Charge it to the max and its launching power is formidable! Also, attacks won't make you flinch while you're charging or once you've fully charged the move.
NES: Punch-Out!! (10/1987)
Wii: Punch-Out!! (05/2009)
Giga Mac
This Final Smash turns Little Mac into a hulking monster of a man. In Punch-Out!! for Wii, Little Mac could take this form by building up the gauge with some well-timed blows. In this game, it seriously powers up his attacks and makes him even faster. He'll completely dominate on the ground, but air battles are outside his weight class.

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Little Mac has sixteen alternate costumes, half of which sport a wireframe design based on the original arcade version of Punch-Out!![7]

Little Mac Palette (SSB4).png
Little Mac (Wireframe) Palette (SSB4).png
LittleMacHeadSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadYellowSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireYellowSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireWhiteSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadRedSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireRedSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadBlueSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireBlueSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadOrangeSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireOrangeSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadGreenSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWireGreenSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadPinkSSB4-U.png
LittleMacHeadWirePinkSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Little Mac makes a number of references to his home series:
    • The pose he strikes for his reveal trailer's splash art is directly based on a piece of promotional artwork for the Wii version of Punch-Out!!. By extension, his official artwork for SSB4 pose is a modified version of this pose, with a better center of gravity and his stance being shifted to the right, along with his arms being positioned differently.
    • His alternate costumes include his signature hooded sweatsuit used during his training segments with Doc Louis, his World Video Boxing Association (WVBA) Champion attire from the Wii version of Punch-Out!!, a design based on the blond protagonist of Super Punch-Out!!, and a wireframe design based on the first-person perspective from the arcade version of Punch-Out!!
    • He is the only character to display visual battle damage, although this feature is only shown in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Upon reaching or passing 100%, or upon being screen KO'd, bandages and bruises appear on his face. This is a reference to the Wii version of Punch-Out!!, where Little Mac will gradually begin looking bruised and battered if he gets hit too many times.
    • His official poster showing him fighting Donkey Kong references DK's appearance as a secret opponent during Mac's Last Stand in the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
    • He wears the World Video Boxing Association (WVBA) championship belt during all of his victory poses.
    • His KO Uppercut is a reference to the Star Punch, his signature move in the Punch-Out!! series. By extension, his Power Meter originated from the arcade version of Punch-Out!!
    • His Final Smash, Giga Mac, is a transformation that can be used in the two-player mode of the Wii version of Punch-Out!!
    • Despite being symmetrical in some instances, such as his during taunts and on-screen appearance, he is not mirrored when he faces left and right because he uses an orthodox stance like in his home series.
  • According to Masahiro Sakurai, Little Mac has the lowest online win ratio of all characters as of November 2014.[8]
  • Prior to update 1.0.5 in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and update 1.0.6 in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Little Mac could not properly hold Hammers, as they would be positioned at his sides instead of between his hands.
  • Interestingly, Little Mac shares a few animations with Captain Falcon. This includes some of his poses when knocked back with a weak attack, swing animations for battering items such as a Beam Sword or a Home Run Bat, and animations while buried or stunned. This has led many to believe that Captain Falcon's model was used as a base for creating Little Mac's model.
    • In regard to Little Mac's model, his mouth will jarringly close when his shadowboxing and shuffling victory poses conclude.
  • Little Mac and Cloud are the only characters who have special moves that affect the in-game camera, with both KO Uppercut and all of Cloud's Limit Break moves (barring Limit Break Blade Beam) zooming in and slowing down time upon hitting their targets. Coincidentally, both moves involve dealing or receiving damage in order to be available for use.

References[edit]


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