in Super Smash Bros. Melee
|Other playable appearances||in Brawl|
|Tier||S (2) (North America)|
S (2) (Europe)
Marth (マルス, Marth) is an unlockable newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Marth was placed in Melee due to heavy requests from Japanese players, but as his games had never been released outside of Japan prior to Melee, his character was among the most obscure in the game in other regions. His popularity as a character, alongside Roy, eventually caused Nintendo to begin releasing the Fire Emblem games internationally; the first internationally released game came two years after Melee.
Marth is voiced in Japanese by Hikaru Midorikawa, who reprises his role from the 1996 animated adaptation of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem; as Fire Emblem had, at that point, yet to officially make its debut overseas (aside from dubs of the animated adaptation), Marth's Japanese voice is used in all regions.
Marth currently ranks 2nd on the Melee tier list, placing him in the S tier and is currently his best placement in the series. Marth has many powerful tools at his disposal, including fast overall startup in his attacks, long and disjointed range, large amounts of additional power at the tip of his blade, very potent juggling and combo ability, the longest non-disjointed grab range, and great edgeguarding capabilities. Marth also has a multitude of good movement options to approach and pressure with; his dash-dance and wavedash are among the longest in the game, as well as being able to dash away from shield grabs without getting punished, complementing his already-impressive range extremely well. Marth also has two very powerful options to KO his opponents and finish combos: his down aerial (a very potent spike when sweetspotted, and the closer to the notorious Ken Combo) and his forward smash when tippered.
On the downside, his ability to punish approaches is somewhat limited in comparison to other top-tier characters due to his lack of a projectile and the short hitbox duration of his moves. Marth also has lackluster defensive properties; his weight makes him very easy to combo while not providing sufficient knockback resistance to survive heavy hits at kill-percent, and his out of shield game is notoriously poor despite his attacks' fast startups. His recovery is also problematic; while it is extendable with his side special and can end with a fast up special that covers decent distance, it is also rather predictable. However, Marth's main weakness is the fact that most of his moves have considerable endlag and are thus very punishable if whiffed. As such, Marth is very susceptible to momentum shifts; a punished move puts Marth in a defensive position where he has few options to retake the advantage.
Despite his low technical learning curve, many consider Marth to be one of the most difficult characters to play at high levels due to the intricate spacing ability required of top-level players to overcome his aforementioned flaws. Regardless of these flaws, Marth has excellent matchups against many characters.
How to unlock
Upon completing this, Marth will be fought on the Fountain of Dreams stage, with the track "Fire Emblem" playing.
Marth falls under the fighter archetype of being mobile, with the ability to easily outmaneuver most of his opponents; Marth has a very fast dashing speed, a long wavedash (specifically the fourth longest in the game) and rather good jumping speed, with above average falling speed, contributing to a good SHFFL. With a large dash-dance window and a disjointed hitbox, Marth has great approach options in this game, both on the ground and in the air.
Marth's primary strength is his range in his normal attacks; the Falchion grants Marth a very large disjointed hitbox that can allow him to safely attack from a distance. Additionally, the tip of the Falchion, its sweetspot, is remarkably easy to connect, making Marth stronger when he is further from his opponent. In addition to this, Marth's attacks are very quick in terms of startup lag, and his long wavedash and dash-dance allow him to further extend his already long reach. This long hitbox with a far away sweetspot also contributes to Marth's superb combo game.
In addition to his disjointed range, Marth has a fantastic combo and juggle ability; despite a slightly below average air speed, with a combination of good jumping prowess, and an average falling speed, as well as quick, low lag, high-ranged, easy-to-sweetspot aerials, Marth has among the best air games in Melee, and a great combo ability. Additionally, Marth's grab game is also good, as mentioned before due to a surprisingly long grab range (the longest of the non-grapple grabs, thanks to it extending far past his hand). His throws possess low damage and knockback, allowing him to chain his throws into each other and combo into other attacks. In particular, his up throw can chain throw most fast fallers at low to mid percentages, and it can directly segue into an up tilt or an aerial, and can be used for KOing at high percents on a platform due to being the third strongest up throw in the game. Marth's long dash-dance also makes him a superb tech-chaser.
Marth also has several powerful attacks in his arsenal; some of them are very fast and have high range, such as his up tilt, while others can KO at close ranges, such as the Reverse Dolphin Slash technique. Marth's forward smash is feared due to its high speed and power when tipped, with the capability to "break" through some projectiles found in the game thanks to its priority; it also works well when wave-smashed, due to Marth's long wavedash. Marth's down tilt and Shield Breaker act as good edgeguarding options, with the former being a semi-spike and the latter have a large hitbox. Most notable, however, is his down aerial, which acts as a powerful spike in NTSC regions, and an equally powerful meteor smash in PAL regions; it can KO reliably even as low as 40%, and many of Marth's attacks can easily combo into his down air, most notably his forward aerial as part of the Ken Combo. Marth also has access to a grounded meteor in his Dancing Blade. While its uses for KOing are somewhat situational, it can set up tech-chases well, as well as free jab resets.
Marth's primary flaw is his inconsistency in closing out stocks. Many of his quick, safe moves greatly lack in KO power, and while his more powerful options are strong enough to KO at virtually any percent, they are extremely difficult to land. Many of them (including his tipped smash attacks and Dolphin Slash) are highly committal and unsafe to use in the neutral game, and there is no guarantee that he will connect with the correct hitbox in a neutral situation, even if they land. This forces Marth to secure KOs at early percents, usually through edgeguarding or combo setups that specifically ensure he connects with his KO option of choice. However, if Marth racks up too much damage, he will no longer have access to these setups as the opponent will be sent too far away by his combo starters to follow up on. Marth will then often be relegated to poking at the opponent with singular, weak hits to slowly accumulate damage, unable to KO them except through committal reads.
Another problem for Marth is his lack of defensive options. His average weight not only leaves him vulnerable to powerful attacks, it is also being enough to be vulnerable to combos such as Fox's waveshine combos in NTSC regions. More significantly, while Marth's attacks are very fast in terms of startup, they travel in predictable, low-duration arcs and have high ending lag, exemplified through attacks such as his down aerial. This leads to Marth having a terrible out of shield game due to the low duration and high ending lag of his moves, while also leaving him open to punishment. Marth also demands significant knowledge of spacing with his aerials in order to properly combo. For most of his attacks, the sweetspot hitboxes have the lowest priority, so they only hit if none of the weaker hitboxes connect on that frame. In many cases, a specific hitbox is needed to extend the punish.
Overall, Marth's long reach, excellent combos, and powerful finishers result in him being a very potent character in the current metagame. A Marth player must be wary of his weaknesses and spacing, but due to his low technical learning curve, Marth is an effective character to pick up and play.
Like some other characters, Marth received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which slightly nerfed him overall, as he lost the ability to reliably KO and edgeguard with his down aerial. In addition, he is also lighter and his air speed is lower; hindering his endurance and making him even easier to edgeguard. However, because other top-tier characters, such as Fox and Sheik, were also noticeably nerfed, Marth has an easier time fighting against them, improving his matchup spread overall. As such, he is considered to be better relative to most of the top-tier cast in PAL than in NTSC.
- Fixed the Whispy blink glitch.
- Marth's weight has been decreased (87 → 85).
- Marth's air speed is lower (0.9 → 0.85).
- Down aerial's sweetspot's angle has been altered (290° → 270°) allowing it to be meteor cancelled. This significantly hinders its reliability.
For a gallery of Marth's hitboxes, see here.
For simplicity, if, for example, Marth's blade does 4% damage while the tip does 6%, and the attack has no other hitboxes, it is written as 4%/6%.
|Neutral attack||Slash (スラッシュ) / Counter Slash (カウンタースラッシュ)||4%/6%||Slashes the Falchion twice in front of himself. Useful for both offensive and defensive spacing, especially when used with wavedashing due to the move's non-committal nature with regards to movement. The first hit of jab is highly useful for edgeguarding linear recoveries, while the second hit can be used to cover many unorthodox recovery options when combined with the first jab (such as a shortened Fox Illusion or Falco Phantasm). If Marth is wearing a Bunny Hood, he performs both jabs at twice the speed.|
|Forward tilt||Sharp Edge (シャープエッジ)||9%/13%||A fast upward swipe while leaning forward. Has good horizontal reach.|
|Up tilt||Anti-Air Slash (アンチエアスラッシュ)||Clean: 9% (blade), 12% (tip), 8% (body)
Late: 10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)
|Swings his sword in a large arc above his head, with a large hitbox that can peg opponents behind him. This move has many varied uses; most notably, it can interrupt hasty attacks and juggle and trap opponents in conjunction with a forward smash, a neutral aerial, or an up aerial on top of platforms. It can also set up aerial combos. At high percentages, it is an effective KO move, KOing reliably at 130% and above when tippered.|
|Down tilt||Low Stab (ロースラスト, Low Thrust)||9% (blade), 10% (tip), 8% (body)||A quick crouching Falchion poke. As it pokes out and is a semi-spike, it is very useful for edgeguarding, and is also a staple in Marth's neutral game as it can safely be used to interrupt dash-dancing and wavedashing approaches or follow-ups. It may lead into a grab follow-up below 100%. It also has the property of having a high amount of interruptibility frames. Because of this property Marth is unable to shield as quickly as if he were to do anything else such as dashing or performing smash attacks.|
|Dash attack||Raid Chop (レイドチョップ)||11% (blade), 12% (tip), 9% (body)||A quick upward sweeping diagonal slash with high range and relatively high damage. Depending on where on the sword it connects, it can either send opponents behind him, in front of him or above him. Very good for setting up combos, but has high ending lag.|
|Forward smash||Dragon Killer (ドラゴンキラー)||14%/20%||Rotates body counterclockwise with a strong arc-like swing from his head to the ground. Very fast and long ranged. The knockback of the move is strongest on the tipper hitbox of the sword, otherwise being rather weak when untippered.|
|Up smash||Justice Sword (ジャスティスソード)||8% (sides), 15% (blade), 18% (tip)||A quick, direct upward thrust. The move has very weak sourspots next to Marth if used on the ground, so it is not a reliable KO move on grounded enemies next to Marth, but it can act as a surprise KO option on enemies directly above him in the air or on platforms. Oddly, the Falchion's tip doesn't have a hitbox at all; the "tipper" hitbox is instead located at the middle of the blade.|
|Down smash||Whirlwind Blade (旋風のブレード)||11%/16% (both sides)||Sweeps his sword on the ground towards the front, then towards the back. If tippered, it sends opponents upward with high vertical knockback, Star KOing opponents at high percentages, and is the strongest down smash in the game and 3rd most powerful smash attack overall (only behind Bowser's forward smash and Pikachu's up smash). If hit at the base, it sends opponents with low horizontal knockback, but it can still KO at high percentages. It is generally not a safe option to use in most situations, as the attack has a fair amount of ending lag and takes longer to fully execute than his other smash attacks (despite having the fastest amount of start-up out of his smash attacks).|
|Neutral aerial||Double Slash (ダブルスラッシュ)||4% (hit 1), 10% (hit 2)||Two horizontal slashes around himself. Both hits connect easily, and can follow up into each other. Oddly enough, both the tipper hitbox and the non-tipper hitbox deal the same damage and knockback; the only difference between the 2 hitboxes is the sound effect.|
|Forward aerial||Aerial Swipe (エアリアル スワイプ)||10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)||Does a forward vertical slash downwards. It is considered Marth's most versatile aerial as it is his fastest and has the most combo potential. It also has the least ending lag of all his aerials and it is his safest aerial on shield since it deals 7 frames of shield stun and has 7 frames of endlag; Marth can dash-dance away after doing this move on shield. Because of its ability to link into virtually any other of Marth's moves, it is an ideal move to set up edgeguarding. The move however has a very short duration and thus despite its speed, it is unsafe if spammed in neutral.|
|Back aerial||About Face (アッパースイング, Upper Swing)||10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)||Slashes the Falchion from bottom to top behind him in an inward swipe. The attack has the unusual property of turning Marth around when used in the air; in this regard, his back aerial can be used to potentially set up a Ken Combo or can be used to quickly steal a ledge.|
|Up aerial||Luna Slash (ルナスラッシュ)||10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)||A forward-to-back upward wide sword slash ending in a full delayed somersault. It is not particularly powerful regardless of where on the sword it hits, but conversely it shows no mercy juggling opponents when combined with forward smash, up tilt, and other aerials.|
|Down aerial||Half Moon (ハーフムーン)||10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)||A forward-to-back outward sword slash downwards. The attack, when sweetspotted, sends opponents flying downward. In NTSC regions, the attack is a spike, while PAL regions, it's a meteor smash. Due to its high ending lag and Marth's lackluster recovery, the attack is of high risk if used offstage at a low altitude. Regardless, the move is extremely useful anywhere else on the stage due to its long horizontal reach making it a great tech chase option (for reading rolls) as well as an out of shield option. This is the primary finish to a Ken Combo.|
|Grab||Grab (つかみ)||—||Marth grabs the opponent with his free hand. It's the 4th longest grab range overall and the single longest non-tether grab.|
|Pummel||Knee (膝)||3%||Knees the opponent.|
|Forward throw||Bounce (バウンス)||4%||Trips the opponent with his leg as he pushes them forward.|
|Back throw||Throw Away (捨てる)||4%||Pulls opponents behind him and extends his leg simultaneously.|
|Up throw||Emblem Toss (エンブレムトス)||4%||A powerful upward throw with one arm. Can chain throw fast fallers at low percentages, and is the third strongest up throw in the game.|
|Down throw||Slam (スラム)||5%||Slams the opponent to the ground, sending them behind him. Can set up a tippered forward smash at low percentages.|
|Floor attack (front)||6%||Sweeps his sword on the ground, front to back.|
|Floor attack (back)||6%||A quick stab to the left followed by a horizontal slash to the right.|
|Edge attack (fast)||8% (sword), 6% (hilt)||Flips onto ledge with a quick downward diagonal slash downwards. Hitbox only exists on Marth's right arm arm and his sword, meaning that foes close to the ledge Marth is hanging on can avoid the attack.|
|Edge attack (slow)||8% (sword), 6% (hilt)||Slowly gets up and performs a quick horizontal slice upwards. Just like his quick edge attack, opponents can avoid the attack if they are close to the ledge Marth is currently hanging on.|
|Neutral special||Shield Breaker||7-27%, 28% (fully charged)||Marth holds the Falchion over his head before doing a powerful overhead slash in a similar fashion to his forward smash. When the move is fully charged, it will break any shield in one hit, unless the attack is perfect shielded. This attack has transcendent priority.|
|Side special||Dancing Blade||Varies||A sequence of Falchion slashes with several variations based on control stick inputs. All variations have transcendent priority. Upward slashes are trailed blue, standard slashes are trailed red, and downward slashes are trailed green.|
|Up special||Dolphin Slash||10% (startup blade & body), 13% (startup tip), 7% (leap blade & tip), 6% (leap body)||A high-speed jumping uppercut slash that can be reversed before frame 6. Has many uses, but is very risky to use due to the large degree of vulnerability Marth receives if the move is whiffed. The move is easily used in the middle of a combo (though DI must be correctly read); it can be used as an alternative (instead of a down air) to finish a Ken Combo. It is also Marth's fastest option to punish rolls (provided he is close enough) as well as his fastest out of shield option. This attack has transcendent priority.|
|Down special||Counter||7%||Assumes a defensive stance and retaliates against incoming attacks. The damage and knockback of the attack will always be the same, regardless on what attack is being countered. When Marth's Counter is successful he may either say "そこだ！" ("There!"), "させるものか！" ("I won't allow that!"), or "見切った！" ("I saw through (your attack)!")|
|First Hit (Neutral)||4%||Does a vertical slash, has little knockback: incapable of KOing.|
|Second Hit (Up)||5%||Does an upwards slash.|
|Second Hit (Neutral)||5%||Does a stab, has a little more knockback then the first slash, but still not much.|
|Third Hit (Up)||6%||Does a weak vertical slash.|
|Third Hit (Neutral)||10%||Does a fairly powerful horizontal slash. KOs at around 120%.|
|Third Hit (Down)||10%||Stabs at the ground. Decent KO option. Has an unorthodox meteor smash hitbox.|
|Fourth Hit (Up)||10%||Does a very powerful jumping slash. KOs at around 100%.|
|Fourth Hit (Neutral)||14%||Does a very powerful vertical slash. KOs at around 100%|
|Fourth Hit (Down)||3% (hit 1-4), 5% (hit 5)||Does a flurry of lower stabs. The last hit launches opponents away.|
|Jump||Air time||FF input window for Earliest FF||Air time for Earliest FF|
|Full Hop (instant aerial)||57||27-30||43|
|Short Hop (instant fair/bair)||36||16-19||24|
|Short Hop (instant upair)||38||16-20||25|
|Short Hop (instant dair)||37||16-19||25|
|Short Hop (instant nair)||37||16-19||24|
- Twirls his sword, then raises it in front of him, saying, "みんな、見ていてくれ！" ("Everyone, please watch me!")
- Brushes hair out of his face.
|Description||Marth! Marth! Marth!||Ma-ru-su!|
- Turns with pride, spins the Falchion, then clashes it to the ground and says "僕は負ける訳には行かないんだ!", which translates to: "I cannot afford to lose!"
- Sheaths his sword and says "今回は僕の勝ちだね?", which translates to: "This time it's my victory, isn't it?"
- Poses with his sword sheathed and his right arm out and says "今日も生き延びることが出来た。", which translates to: "Today I have survived."
In competitive play
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Marth players (SSBM)
- Azen - Top old-school Marth player from MD/VA. Considered one of the best on the East Coast in the pre-Brawl era. Won MLG Atlanta 2004, Tournament Go 6, and MLG New York Playoffs 2006.
- Jakenshaken - One of the best Marth players in the world. Placed 5th at Fight Pitt 9, 9th at Full Bloom 5, and 25th at Smash 'N' Splash 5. Has wins over Lucky, MikeHaze, and Jerry.
- KDJ - One of the best players from 2006-2008; triple-mained with Fox and Sheik before retiring. Placed 1st at MLG Long Island 2007, 2nd at Cataclysm 3, and 17th at Apex 2012. Has wins over ChuDat, La Luna, and DJ Nintendo.
- Ken - Ranked player in SoCal. Commonly referred to as the "King of Smash" and undisputed best smasher from 2003 to 2006. Invented and named the Ken combo. Won multiple MLG tournaments and EVO World 2007.
- KoDoRiN - One of the best Marth players during the COVID-19 pandemic. Placed 3rd at Mainstage 2021, 5th at SWT: NA West Melee Regional Finals, 7th at Riptide, and 25th at Mainstage with wins over iBDW, Ginger, and SFAT.
- La Luna - One of the best Marth players in the world. Placed 25th at GENESIS 6, 17th at Pound 2019, and 17th at Get On My Level 2019. Has wins over HugS, moky, and Colbol.
- Mew2King - One of the Five Gods. Widely considered to be one of the best Marth players of all time. Has contributed largely to the advancement of his metagame, along with PPMD.
- PewPewU - The best Marth player in California and one of the best in the world before retiring. Widely known for his proficiency in doubles with static partner SFAT. Placed 4th at Super Smash Con 2018, 5th at GENESIS 6 and Mainstage, and 7th at EVO 2016 with wins over Hungrybox, Mew2King, Plup, and iBDW.
- PPMD - One of the Five Gods. Considered the best Marth in the neutral game and against floaty characters, and among the two greatest Marth players, alongside Mew2King. Placed 1st at Apex 2014 and Apex 2015, 2nd at Apex 2013, and 3rd at EVO 2015. Currently inactive due to health reasons.
- reaper - Previously the best Marth player in Europe. Placed 13th at B.E.A.S.T 6, Syndicate 2016, and Syndicate 2017 with wins over Jeapie, Fuzzyness, and Däumling.
- Rishi - One of the best Marth players in the world. Placed 13th at GENESIS 6 and 17th at both The Big House 9 and Super Smash Con 2019. Has wins over moky, Westballz, and HugS.
- Shroomed - Primarily mains Sheik, but has a strong Marth that sees the most use on certain stages or character counterpicks. Placed 4th at Smash 'N' Splash 3, 5th at Low Tier City 7, and 7th at Shine 2018. Used Marth to beat Wizzrobe, ChuDat, and Lucky.
- Spud - The best player in Australia/New Zealand. Placed 1st at Battle Arena Melbourne 11, 2nd at Phantom 2019, and 33rd at both GENESIS 7 and The Big House 10 with wins over Professor Pro, SFAT, and n0ne.
- Taj - Although most famous for his Mewtwo play, Taj was one of the best Marth players in the world during the post-Brawl era, and frequently relied more on Marth in later stages of the bracket. Placed 5th at MELEE-FC Diamond, 3rd at GENESIS 2, and 13th at EVO 2013. Has wins over PPMD, Mango, and PewPewU.
- Zain - The best Marth player in the world with wins over Mango, Hungrybox, Plup, and Leffen. Won GENESIS 8, GENESIS 7, and Pound 2022.
Tier placement and history
Very early in the Melee metagame, Marth had a negative low-level perception despite being high-tier, as players generally relied on rolling and C-stick abuse to play him. However, this impression would not last very long, as Marth players such as Ken and Azen would emerge in the scene shortly before the third tier list iteration (June 2003) to show the world how the character was played at a high level. Notably, Ken decisively won Tournament Go 4 with Marth, introducing the uses of dash-dancing, chaingrabbing, and a higher focus on spacing and aerial combat, including the creation of the infamous Ken Combo. He and Azen would continue incorporating advanced techniques into Marth's metagame, developing the foundation for his precise movement through dash-dancing and wavedashing, and showed how powerfully he could punish enemies off small mistakes and reads.
Because of these contributions to Marth's metagame, Ken's and Azen's continued rivalry and dominance over their respective regions, and Ken's eventual rise to the very top of competitive play as the undisputed King of Smash, Marth moved up to the top tier and solidified his place there for the rest of the Golden Era. He would usually place around the second to fourth highest spot on the list, only being considered merely high-tier again once in the eighth tier list (July 2006), where he dropped to fourth place. However, in the ninth tier list (October 2008), he again moved up to second place, in what would become his highest tier placing in all the tier lists. Despite not ever being placed at the top of the tier list, it could be argued that Marth saw the best results in practice for the majority of this era.
In the post-Brawl metagame, however, Marth's results saw a slight decline from what they were before. After Mew2King's absolute dominance with Marth for a short time span around Brawl's release, Marth's tournament performance began to fall, as newer players learned to exploit his weaknesses while the representation he had stopped being as dominant. Ken and Azen faded away from competitive Melee, and Mew2King eventually switched to playing primarily Sheik during this era, reserving Marth for very specific matchups on certain stages. There were certainly up-and-coming Marth players around this time, such as Tai and PewPewU, accompanied by strong veterans such as Taj, who kept Marth's results up. However, they were not as dominant relative to the field as those who came before them. This led to players questioning Marth's true viability in the metagame, which coincided with a drop to fifth place on the tenth tier list in September 2010, and a fourth place finish on the eleventh tier list in July 2013.
Marth's playerbase had also seemingly given up on him as a character; these jaded voices about Marth's viability tainted the community's views on him as a whole. Notable examples include Ken himself claiming in 2012 that Marth was now allegedly a mid-tier character who lost in every important top-tier matchup, and Mew2King ranking Marth as 5th in his personal 2014 tier list, claiming that Marth could only ever hope to win on Final Destination against those characters. However, while some of these top players were complaining, other players were doing serious work in the background to innovate and push the character. Community members such as Kadano compiled Marth's frame data and ways to apply that knowledge, and players such as the aforementioned PewPewU and PPMD would put all of this discussion into practice on the biggest stage.
PPMD's pickup of Marth as a dual main was especially notable, as he found that his playstyle was uniquely suited to taking on Armada's Peach and other floaty characters, which other Marth mains had significantly struggled against in recent years. Despite not all of his encounters going his way, the fact that PPMD, who had just developed this Marth recently, was already doing so well in matchups traditionally considered difficult for Marth showed that the character had tons of room to grow past what the metagame had established. Going into 2013 and beyond, Marth would gradually return to prominence. PewPewU would take a set against Hungrybox at Apex 2015, demonstrating that pivot tipper forward smashes allowed Marth to consistently KO Jigglypuff off of a throw. PPMD won Apex 2015 relying mostly on Marth in the final bracket stages, showing that Marth can still win supermajors despite the greater matchup knowledge against him. Mew2King would finally return to playing more Marth in bracket, eventually opting to even use Marth against Armada's Peach himself, and outright forcing Armada off Peach in Smash Summit 6, which he resoundingly won.
All of this culminates into the state of the modern metagame, where Zain has risen to prominence as a solo Marth main, blending together all the styles of Marth that came before him to become one of the most dominant players in the game. He has won a significant number of supermajors including GENESIS 7 and GENESIS 8, and boasts a positive record against Hungrybox, completely turning the Marth-Jigglypuff matchup on its head with his gameplan in it and consistency in executing pivot tippers. Zain's reign at the top has even led some top players (particularly Fox and Falco players) to begin complaining about how strong Marth is, even sometimes picking up Sheik secondaries to have an easier time with the matchup - the complete opposite of what was said and done in previous eras where Marth's results were more sparse. Reflecting this, the thirteenth tier list released in March of 2021 ranks Marth as the second best character in the game once again, only behind Fox.
Like several other top-tier characters, Marth was nerfed in the PAL version of Melee. His down aerial, a powerful spike in NTSC, had its launch angle changed in PAL, making it an equally powerful meteor smash. As one of Marth's staple moves can now be meteor canceled, impairing his ability to finish off opponents quickly and throwing a wrench in the consistency of the infamous Ken Combo, it may seem as if Marth is worse in PAL overall. However, Marth still retains many other options to KO enemies, and has several other potent (albeit less reliable) options to substitute for down aerial in the aforementioned Ken Combo and other combos, such as his neutral aerial or a reverse Dolphin Slash. Marth was also made slightly lighter, which slightly impairs his survivability, but allows him to escape several of Fox's waveshine follow-ups. The most notable option loss for Fox is waveshine to grab, which greatly impairs Fox's ability to rack up damage on Marth by converting from a shine and forces Fox players to use weaker options instead.
Because some other top-tier characters, such as Fox or Sheik, were nerfed more significantly than he was, Marth has a much easier time fighting against them than he does in NTSC versions, as he maintains almost all of the advantages he has against those characters, while losing several of the shortcomings that made those matchups difficult. Aside from the aforementioned loss of several waveshine follow-ups for Fox, Marth also able to edgeguard Fox more efficiently, due to the nerf in Fire Fox's recovery distance. Sheik's disadvantages in the neutral game are still prevalent against Marth, as she must still cope with his range. However, Sheik's grab is much less of a punishment threat than it is in NTSC, as its launch angle does not guarantee KO setups (such as forward or up aerials) in PAL. These new advantages, as well as various other changes to Marth's matchups, make Marth arguably stronger relative to the cast than he is in NTSC. This is reflected in the PAL tier list, where Marth is ranked 2nd, a decent improvement over his recent positions in the NTSC list.
Despite Marth's theoretical superiority in PAL, there exist very few notable Marth mains in PAL regions, with reaper, Mahie and Salepate being the extent of his current representation; both Mahie and Salepate have also struggled to make an impact outside of France. Furthermore, Ice, once considered one of Europe's best Marth mains, later chose to exclusively main Fox to improve his standings in tournaments.
In 1-P Mode
In Classic Mode
In Classic Mode, Marth can appear in one-on-one matches, team battles alongside Link and Zelda, and as a metal opponent in the mode's penultimate stage. In his appearances, bar his metal match, Marth appears on Great Bay. On a team with Zelda, he appears on Temple. In all such instances, the track "Fire Emblem" plays on the stage, which does not occur in any other mode. Unusually, this does not happen when fighting Marth + Link, during which it will still play the "Great Bay" theme.
In Adventure Mode
Marth makes no appearances in the game's single-player Adventure Mode. Music associated with him, however, can play in the Underground Maze.
In All-Star Mode
In All-Star Mode, Marth and his allies are fought on Fountain of Dreams, as Marth was not designated a specific home stage. When fought on the stage, the track "Fire Emblem" plays instead of the standard music.
In Event Matches
Marth appears in multiple Event Matches:
- Event 40: All-Star Match 4: Marth is the first opponent fought in this series of staged battles. The selected character battles him on the Temple stage with a stock of 2 while Marth has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters one-by-one with the overall time and damage: Luigi, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, and Mr. Game & Watch.
- Event 41: En Garde!: A one-on-one battle between the player as Marth and the enemy Link on the Temple stage, with the two characters having 2 stock each and unlimited time.
- Event 46: Fire Emblem Pride: The player battles and must defeat a team of Marth and Roy in an untimed match in the Hyrule Temple stage, with all three characters receiving 3 stock.
In addition to the normal trophy about Marth as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter that are unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes on any difficulty with Marth.
- The betrayed prince of the Kingdom of Altea, the blood of the hero Anri flows in Marth's veins. He was forced into exile when the kingdom of Dolua invaded Altea. Then, wielding his divine sword Falchion, he led a revolt and defeated the dark dragon Medeus. Afterwards, Altea was annihilated by King Hardin of Akanea.
- Fire Emblem (Japan Only)
- Marth [Smash]
- Marth is a magnificent swordsman. While his swordplay is faster than that of Link, he lacks power, and his quickness is offset by a marginal endurance. His Shield Breaker gains power the longer it's held. The Dancing Blade combination uses both the Control Stick and the B Button to produce a series of up to four attacks.
- B: Shield Breaker
- Smash B: Dancing Blade
- Marth [Smash]
- The tip of Marth's blade causes the most damage, so you should try to create adequate distance between you and your enemy to gracefully strike with that point. Marth's Dolphin Slash is fast and powerful, but it leaves him vulnerable upon landing. Marth uses Counter to block a foe's attack and deal a return strike. If you're fighting a Counter-happy Marth, grab him.
- Up & B: Dolphin Slash
- Down & B: Counter
- Marth is the only newcomer and unlockable character to have a clone.
- Marth and Roy are the only characters in Melee that speak Japanese in all language versions of the game.
- Marth and Roy are the only playable characters in Melee that do not have a stage representing their universe, though hacked data shows that one was planned.
- Along with Roy, Marth was originally planned to be a Japan-exclusive character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but was kept in all versions on request of an employee at Nintendo of America. Global interest in the Fire Emblem series began as a result of their success in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- All of Marth's aerial attacks when tippered deal the same amount of damage (13% damage); he is the only character in the game to have this trait.
- In the debug menu, Marth is known as "MARS" likely to keep the game close to his Japanese pronunciation.
- Coincidently, this coincides with his name in the Fire Emblem OVA, which was based off of the third game in the series, Mystery of the Emblem, which revolves around Marth's adventures.
- The fan-made term "Marthritis" (derived from the diagnosis Arthritis) references the inability for a Marth player to easily combo into a kill move at high percents.
- In the debug menu of the game, Marth has an additional phrase that goes unused: "レッツダンス！" "Rettsu dansu!", the English phrase "Let's Dance!" approximated phonetically in Japanese.
|Fighters in Super Smash Bros. Melee|
|Veterans||Captain Falcon · Donkey Kong · Fox · Jigglypuff · Kirby · Link · Luigi · Mario · Ness · Pikachu · Samus · Yoshi|
|Newcomers||Bowser · Dr. Mario · Falco · Ganondorf · Ice Climbers · Marth · Mewtwo · Mr. Game & Watch · Peach · Pichu · Roy · Young Link · Zelda (Sheik)|
|Fire Emblem universe|
|Fighters||Marth (SSBM · SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Roy (SSBM · SSB4 · SSBU) · Ike (SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Lucina (SSB4 · SSBU) · Robin (SSB4 · SSBU) · Corrin (SSB4 · SSBU) · Chrom (SSBU) · Byleth (SSBU)|
|Assist Trophies||Lyn · Black Knight · Tiki|
|Stages||Castle Siege · Arena Ferox · Coliseum · Garreg Mach Monastery|
|Trophies, Stickers and Spirits||Trophies (SSBM · SSBB · SSB4) · Stickers · Spirits|
|Music||Brawl · SSB4 · Ultimate|
|Masterpieces||Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light · Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem|