Marth (マルス, Marth) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially confirmed as playable on June 12th, 2018. Marth is classified as fighter #21.
This is the first time in the Super Smash Bros. series where Marth is not left voiced in Japanese in all regions. Yuri Lowenthal, Marth’s English voice actor from Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Fire Emblem Fates, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Fire Emblem Warriors, reprises his role in overseas versions of the game while Hikaru Midorikawa continues to voice Marth in the Japanese version of the game, this time with new voice clips.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
Marth is considered to be emblematic of swordfighters; his playstyle revolves around spacing—utilizing his unique tipper mechanic to deal high damage and knockback at a distance from his opponent. He has his remaining present attributes; He is in the middleground of lightweight and middleweight, boasting high overall mobility, notably sporting the fastest walking speed in the game (tied with his Echo Fighter, Lucina), a fast dashing speed, average air speed, above average air acceleration, moderate falling speed, and low gravity.
Marth's playstyle revolves around effective spacing, as in all of his other playable appearances, due to his aforementioned tipper mechanic; his sword attacks do the most damage and knockback near the tip of the sword. His frame data is overall above-average, with many attacks having low startup and wide range all-around, allowing him to space efficiently. Because of this, Marth aims to fight a step away from danger, without leaving himself too open to punishment.
While Marth's tipper is the most optimal, the larger hitboxes of his sourspots provide benefits as well; they allow him to effectively combo into attacks one after another at a wider range of percentages. Marth's neutral game is also unique by scaling with percent, as set-ups and combos become more rewarding at higher percentages. He also benefits from being one of the few characters in the game who can outright KO through playing his neutral and spacing game; essentially, while Marth's neutral reward is not as rewarding or damaging as other characters, Marth has the ability to win neutral exchanges with relative ease and safety, as well as having consistent set-ups and follow-ups.
Marth's advantage state as a whole is quite strong. His combination of good speed and range give him excellent juggling capabilities, as he can easily dash to where a falling opponent might land and catch them with his wide attacks, especially his up tilt and up aerial. His disjointed hitboxes also allow him to challenge opponent's falling attacks safely. Because of this, Marth has an easy time keeping opponents in the air and racking up damage. These traits also grant him strong edgeguarding abilities, as his wide aerials can cover enemy movement well, and his tippers can outright KO offstage opponents thanks to their power. Moreover, his general floatiness also allows him to recover back to the stage after edgeguarding attempts fairly safely.
Marth's special moveset provides interesting options as well; his neutral special, Shield Breaker, deals very high shield damage, even when uncharged, and is useful for covering rolls and landings. Dancing Blade is a four-hit combo that can be used to punish sidesteps and rolls, as well as effectively rack up damage. At higher percents, it can serve as an effective KOing option. Dolphin Slash has quick startup, provides slight intangibility during its startup frames, is relatively strong when it first comes out, and has high knockback scaling. These attributes make it an excellent out of shield option and combo-breaker. It is also Marth's primary method of recovery, as its speed can make it difficult to intercept, and it can stage spike reckless edgeguarders. Lastly, Counter provides him with the capability to reverse attacks with 1.2× the damage, KOing if the attack was strong enough; it can also be used against opponents with easily predictable recoveries.
Despite his strengths, Marth has some notable weaknesses. Due to Marth possessing a sword, his moves generally have greater ending lag than characters who fight with physical attacks. Though his attacks have quick startup, many of them come with high ending lag, and also suffer from short hitbox durations, leaving him open for counterattacks during certain situations. As a solely sword-based character, Marth's neutral also suffers from a lack of a projectile, and he can struggle against projectile heavy characters and playstyles. This ties in with his vulnerability once he loses the neutral; despite having below average weight and only average falling speed, Marth is susceptible to combos, and his tall hurtbox provides an easy target. Dolphin Slash is his only reliable combo-breaker, but as it leaves him helpless, it can inadvertently put him in an even worse position. Also, while Counter can be used defensively, it leaves Marth extremely vulnerable to punishment should it whiff. Marth also has little defense against juggling, as his aerials are ineffective at relieving such pressure. His tipper mechanic can disadvantage him when attempting to KO, as his attacks don't generate much knockback if not spaced properly, making his KO potential relatively lackluster without proper spacing (most notably with forward smash, forward tilt and aerials).
Marth's weak throws tie into his polarized KO power. Except for up throw, they have low knockback scaling, preventing them from KOing at realistic percents, while up throw can only KO starting at 170%, if Marth has no rage. His other throws are somewhat lackluster; aside from having a fairly fast pummel, Marth's throws deal low damage and have high base knockback, making them poor for combos and damage-racking outside of down throw leading into an aerial until high percents. However, it should be noted that the high base knockback of his throws allow Marth to take advantage of his good edgeguarding capability, especially at the edge.
Marth himself is somewhat vulnerable to edgeguarding, though he has options for mix-ups with his recovery. Dolphin Slash is his only reliable vertical recovery option, and while it is still a threat to edgeguarders due to its speed and high stage spike ability, its path is linear and its distance fixed, making it fairly predictable. Additionally since this move grants little horizontal distance, Marth is vulnerable to semi-spikes. While Shield Breaker can aid his horizontal recovery, it covers little distance without charging. Marth's also heavily reliant on his double jump for mix-ups in his recovery, and is in significant danger if offstage without it.
Overall, Marth is an effective character that has many benefits: high overall mobility, long range, and above-average frame data. However, his close range game is not ideal due to relatively high endlag on his moves, and his sour-spotted moves dealing a low amount of knockback. At his purest, Marth is most rewarding for players with good fundamentals, with many playstyles applicable to him due to his flaws being easily worked around with careful play.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Though he received relatively few major direct changes compared to other fighters, Marth benefits greatly from the universal changes of Ultimate. His high dash speed complements the ability to dash cancel into any attack, allowing him to bait attacks with fox-trotting, and use his tilts as more effective spacing tools. The reduced landing lag on all aerials also makes them safer for spacing and approaching, while also enhancing their combo ability. The new limits on the air dodge also greatly enhance his juggling and edgeguarding capabilities, as they provide less leeway for opponents to recover against his wide aerials. Additionally, Dancing Blade has been sped up greatly, making its hits link into each other much more consistently.
In the transition, however, Marth received a few noteworthy nerfs. His jab, previously an excellent combo starter and neutral tool, has been altered as with most jabs so that it can only follow up into the second hit from the first, completely removing its powerful jab cancel from Smash 4. His already linear recovery is made less safe by the limits on air dodging as well as the reduction in edge sweet spot size, worsening his endurance. His specials received some small nerfs, with Dolphin Slash and Counter being slightly more punishable than before, and Dancing Blade dealing less damage. Additionally, the faster engine makes landing tippers more tricky, indirectly encouraging the use of Marth's clone and semi-clones, Roy, Lucina, and Chrom, over him.
Overall, the benefits Marth gains from the engine changes generally outweigh the nerfs he received, as they reinforce his speed and long range to further improve his strong neutral game, while also improving his ability to rack up damage and finish off stocks. Although he remains as an effective fighter, he has achieved below-average results in Ultimate's early metagame. Meanwhile, his aforementioned counterparts have all done significantly better than him; in particular, both MkLeo and Mr E, his two strongest players from SSB4, now only keep him as a pocket character in favor of his more consistent Echo Fighter. This could imply that they are the superior characters; to what extent, however, is unknown.
Throws and other attacks
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: A Kingdom of Dragons
Marth fights draconic opponents on various medieval-themed stages. The Mii Fighters sport dragon-themed costumes.
Role in World of Light
Marth was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Marth took notice of the massive number of Master Hands, telling the other fighters that they would "need to take down about ten [Master Hands each]." He was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. He was vaporized offscreen and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters (excluding Kirby).
During the mode itself, Marth can be unlocked early on shortly after rescuing Mario, where the player arrives at a crossroads and has the choice to rescue him, Sheik, or Villager. If one of the others is rescued first, Marth's path will be blocked by a force field created by Master Hand, which will disappear upon defeating a boss or can be circumvented by looping back to the other side.
Marth's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Marth in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video
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