Little Mac (SSB4)

From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
SSB4 Icon.png
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. By extension, Little Mac's grounded moveset is very potent in regard to both offense and defense: his impressive combo potential, overall high damage output, and outstanding KO potential make him very threatening, whereas his anti-rebounding priority and super armor enable him to go toe-to-toe against incoming attacks.[3] Lastly, 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 the very minimal utility of his aerial 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.

Despite its effectiveness, Little Mac's ground game is not fundamentally perfect. Aside from his downward angled forward smash and sweetspotted up smash, the remainder of his attacks deal minimal shield damage and generally lack shieldstun. Little Mac's average size also results in him having an overall short range, which can result in him having difficulty with fighting against characters that have disjointed ranges and/or projectiles. 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 in comparison to the rest of the cast. 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.

Little Mac's 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. Aside from his average air speed, however, the remainder of Little Mac's aerial traits are infamously sub-par: his jump is tied with Ryu's as the fourth lowest, his double jump is tied with Ganondorf's as the third lowest, 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, whereas only his up smash has more than 30 frames of ending lag. Little Mac's neutral attack, in particular, is tied with Zero Suit Samus' for the fastest in the game, thanks to it hitting on frame 1. All of his grounded moves also boast impressive utility in certain ways. Jab canceled neutral attack, up tilt, and down tilt are great combo starters, the latter of which is especially effective thanks to its below average knockback and vertical launching angle allowing it to combo into any move aside from his back aerial, down aerial, and Straight Lunge. Despite being a lightweight, Little Mac also boasts outstanding KO potential,[3] largely thanks to his smash attacks' impressive damage outputs and high knockback scaling. Alongside being very fast for their power, his smash attacks also possess distinct perks. Forward smash can be angled, with its downward angle being very potent at pressuring shields. Up smash can function as an anti-air attack, and its sweetspot also deals potent shield damage. Lastly, down smash is a semi-spike with a rather long range, allowing it to easily edgeguard against careless recoveries.

In addition to their speed and strength, Little Mac's grounded moves are almost impossible to interrupt. His neutral 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 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 moves. 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 him to punish them immediately because of the low ending lag of his neutral and tilt attacks. Aside from these, Little Mac's smash attacks are also difficult to interrupt. Although they follow the 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 traits make him arguably the most challenging opponent to deal with on the ground.

Little Mac's special moves have fairly respectable utility. 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 as a situational move mid-match to enforce a poor approach or input from a reckless opponent, with it notably giving Mac the ability to escape certain combo moves such as Witch Twist. However, Straight Lunge is held back by its very slow speed and considerable ending lag even when uncharged, limiting its usage and making it easily intercepted in almost every other case. 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 a fairly long amount of vertical distance and grants brief intangibility upon start-up if used on the ground. Its extremely fast start-up and initial intangibility also allow Little Mac to use it out of even the smallest pause between an opponent's combos, and thus potentially shift momentum in his favor. When these traits are coupled with its last hit's extremely high knockback scaling, it is deceptively potent from out of shield, and is his most reliable aerial KOing option. Slip Counter is the overall fastest counterattack in the game, which makes it great for escaping pressure, especially aerial combos. It is also one of the few counterattacks that slides a distance before attacking; this enables Little Mac to not only close a gap between himself and an opponent, but also results in it having potential as a horizontal recovery option.

Lastly, the Power Meter is a mechanic unique to Little Mac.[3] It is a visible meter that charges by either dealing at least 333% (assuming the player is never hit), or receiving at least 100%.[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] When coupled with it being unblockable (except on Witch Time), its fast start-up, and its ability to be used as a follow-up from his tilts for almost guaranteed KO combos, KO Uppercut can easily turn the tide of a match when it is used successfully. 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, KO Uppercut 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 KOing options in the air, they are very poor as recovery options. Their overall travel distances are very minimal, they have small edge sweetspots, and they lack 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. While Straight Lunge and Slip Counter can also 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, they also make him extremely susceptible to combos and juggling. The super armor granted by Little Mac's smash attacks are also a double-edged sword, as tanking an attack nevertheless results in Mac receiving damage. As a result, Little Mac can be 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 off-stage just for initiating an aerial approach.

Little Mac is also the character most adversely affected by stale-move negation and projectiles. As only his grounded moves possess respectable levels of utility, Mac may find his KOing options scoring KOs later than usual compared to other powerhouses. By extension, his dependence on being grounded leaves him comparatively vulnerable to ground-level projectiles when he is not using his fast dodges and Jolt Haymaker to avoid them. With all of these points taken into account, 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 because of the existence of platforms.

Even though Little Mac's ground game is immensely effective, not all areas of it are perfect. Due to his average size, Little Mac's overall range is short, which makes spacing essential for him to avoid getting punished. Aside from Little Mac's downward angled forward smash and sweetspotted up smash, none of his other moves deal extra shield damage, making it deceptively difficult to get free punishes on opponents who overuse their shield. 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 from out of shield. Characters with counterattacks can also be detrimental to Little Mac, as a countered smash attack is often enough to be fatal because of the high power of his smash attacks. However, the super armor granted by up and down smashes last long enough to endure quicker counterattacks, such as forward-held Vision.

Despite having throws with passable damage outputs and a fairly fast pummel, Little Mac's overall grab range is tied with Cloud's for the third shortest among the cast. The ending lag and knockback values of his throws also render them unreliable for KOing and, under normal circumstances, starting combos. Down throw is able to combo into aerial Jolt Haymaker for damage, or Rising Uppercut to potentially score a KO, but both can be avoided with DI. In comparison, 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, Little Mac's optimal playstyle requires the player to fight akin to 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.

Because of his polarized attributes and risky playstyle, Little Mac's tournament representation is merely average. However, he has nevertheless 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, whereas 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. By comparison, 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 affected Little Mac for the better, as they improve his ability to pressure shields.

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, Mac's downward angled forward smash now possesses enough shieldstun to combo into his down or forward tilts, which in turn can break full shields. Aside from these changes, 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 his torso.

Overall, Little Mac's ground game has been improved, making his most dominant trait even more imposing. However, the worsening of his already abysmal 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 very reliable KOing option at high percents. Its second hit KOs middleweights at 119% while near the edge of Final Destination in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and at 108% in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. 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 appears to be based on 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. When coupled with it launching at 80°, its below average base knockback, and its below average knockback scaling, it is considered one of the best down tilts in the game. It can combo into almost all of 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] Due to its windbox hitting on frame 6, it is Little Mac's fastest smash attack, yet it also has respectable ending lag. Due to Little Mac stepping forward to perform it, however, it can miss the opponent if they are touching him.

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. Its hand hitbox KOs middleweights at 101% in the 3DS version, and at 93% in the Wii U version. In comparison, its arm hitbox KOs them at 113% and 105%, respectively. It also 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, which makes it the most reliable out of the three in regard to KOing. Its hand hitbox KOs middleweights at 80% while near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 65% in the Wii U version. In comparison, its arm hitbox KOs them at 89% and 76%, respectively. When spaced correctly, it is safe on shield against slower characters. It also grants super armor on frames 8-15. It is based on 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 its extremely low knockback scaling makes it unusable for KOing. 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 also 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 possesses a flame effect and deals significant shield damage. Its sourspot also makes it useful for aerial protection, thanks to its respectable damage output, high knockback scaling, and hitbox placement. Its sweetspot KOs middleweights at 93% in the 3DS version, and at 85% in the Wii U version. In comparison, its sourspot KOs them at 102% and 101%, respectively. However, it has the highest amount of ending lag out of his grounded moves (35 frames), and its sourspot lacks super armor. Despite its appearance, it also only hits in front of Little Mac.
Down smash   13% Spins 180° to throw a quick, downward angled hook. It is a semi-spike, hits on both sides, and has long range. Like his other smash attacks, it grants super armor (frames 7-10 and 15-17). Unlike most down smashes, both of its hits have the same damage outputs and knockback values. All of these traits make it very reliable for edge-guarding, and difficult to punish. It KOs middleweights at 116% while near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 104% in the Wii U version. If an opponent is hit by the hitbox on Mac's upper arm, it is possible to drag them into the second hit at low percents, although this is difficult to do.
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 with Luigi's up aerial for the second fastest up aerial in the game, which makes 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 appears to be based on 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 tied with Jigglypuff's down aerial as the fifth fastest down aerial in the game. When coupled with its middle hitbox being capable of meteor smashing, it is also 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 strongest 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. Outside of this, its only other utility is dealing damage.
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 reliably set up edge-guards. It is also Little Mac's only throw with KO potential, although it is unimpressive as a KOing option. It KOs middleweights at 176% while near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 165% in the Wii U version.
Up throw   4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) An uppercut. 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. When coupled with it being his least damaging throw, it is Little Mac's overall least useful throw.
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 appears to be based on 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 on the ground, it is one of the strongest moves in the game; its fully charged early hitbox KOs middleweights at 42% while near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 34% in the Wii U version. Due to having both a blind spot at its beginning and high ending lag, however, the fully charged version requires crucial positioning. 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 when early, or frames 5-14 when used late. Thanks to its respectable damage output and high knockback scaling, it KOs middleweights at 103% while near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 93% in the Wii U version. However, it is unwise to use this attack around the edge of a stage, since it renders Little Mac helpless. By extension, 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] Thanks to Little Mac's excellent traction, it is a very potent out of shield option, yet is also one of his only reliable aerial finishers aside from Jolt Haymaker. It KOs middleweights at 115% in the 3DS version, and at 109% in the Wii U version. It also grants 3 frames of intangibility on start-up, while the grounded version covers a decent amount of vertical distance. Conversely, the aerial version is half as effective at covering vertical distance and granting maneuverability compared to the grounded version, which make it extremely ineffective for recovery. It also only snaps the edge if it starts or ends right next to one. It appears to be based on 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 appears to be based on 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 overall faster, which allows Little Mac to initiate follow-ups and improves its recovery potential.
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 Little 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 twice as much damage as Little Mac's respective 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 up tilt, dash attack, and back throw become viable KOing options: the former KOs middleweights at 81% in the 3DS version, whereas the latter two KO them at 75% and 84%, respectively, while near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version.

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 with his teeth in order to tighten it, then resumes his stance while exhaling. Doc Louis may say "Let 'em have it, Mac!" (ぶちかませ!マック!, Hit them hard! Mac!)
  • Down taunt: Throws 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]

  • Shuffles his feet.
  • Shifts his head back and forth in front of his fists.
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.

Each of Little Mac's victory poses has Doc Louis saying one of the following at random.

First Pose:

  • "(In tandem with the announcer) And the winner is... Little Mac! Hahaha!"
  • "Ya got what it takes, Mac!"
  • "World Circuit's all yours, Mac!"

Second Pose:

  • "Y'know, that belt looks good on you, son."
  • "You win, Mac!"
  • "Was that a little too easy for ya, son?"

Third Pose:

  • "Way to go, Mac! You're the champ, baby!"
  • "Nice work, Mac. You got it all figured out."
  • "All right! I think I hear a chocolate bar callin'."
  • "Ah, 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), owing 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, owing to his results being relatively sparse at national tournaments.

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]


Ads keep SmashWiki independent and free :)