Squirtle is a playable character in the Brawl mod Project M. Like Ivysaur and Charizard, it has been separated from the Pokémon Trainer and so fights alone. Its down special move, Pokémon Change, has been replaced with Bubble. Since his Brawl incarnation has also been given significant buffs.
Squirtle is ranked 31st out of 41 on the official tier list and is placed toward the lower half of the C tier. This is roughly the same as its placement as part of the Pokémon Trainer in Brawl, where it ranked 29th out of 38.
In Project M, Squirtle's kit puts a strong emphasis on movement. Able to out-maneuver most opponents, Squirtle can play evasively while looking for an opening before launching into fast-paced combos to carry opponents to the side blastzones or kill off the top. Squirtle's access to fast burst movement options through its unique run turnaround animation, shellshift, and low friction on the ground enable it to quickly chase down escaping opponents even offstage, where its remarkable up-special allows it to effectively gimp opponents and return to stage from practically anywhere.
However, the trade-off is that Squirtle has generally unimpressive range on his attacks and grab. Squirtle plays similarly to Pikachu in his short range, low profile, good mobility and powerful up smash, and shares the weakness of light weight, but is generally more grounded as a result of his wider variety of ground movement options and advanced techniques.
Changes from Brawl to PM
In Brawl, Squirtle was tied to the Pokémon Trainer and was considered the strongest Pokémon in its party by far. Squirtle has now been separated from its trainer and its moveset has been significantly revamped. As a result, Squirtle received a mix of buffs and nerfs. Squirtle's mobility has been improved further due to its increased speed and the introducution of various mechanics such as wavedashing. The strength of many of its attacks has also increased and the general changes to Project M's physics further improve Squirtle's combo game. Squirtle's specials moves have also been heavily revamped to make them more effective. Due to being a solo character character, Squirtle has a new down-special move, Bubble. Bubble's hitboxes are transcendent, similar to Falco's lasers, and will trip the opponent like Diddy Kong's banana, making it a valuable tool to combat crouch cancel. In addition, using Bubble while airborne will cause Squirtle's vertical momentum to stall for a short period, making it situationally usable as a recovery tool.
Another major change is the addition of the move Aqua Jet as a powerful kill option. Aqua Jet can be activated by using Squirtle's side-special move, Withdraw. If Squirtle is in contact with an opponent during the first five frames of Withdraw and the player is holding B, the initial move will be canceled with a strong hit upwards and a water particle effect, sending Squirtle into special fall. Though this move is similar to Rest in terms of usage, it is nearly identical to Fox's up-aerial in terms of damage and knockback, but sends at an angle that is five degrees shallower. Squirtle's neutral-special, Water Gun, was also improved. It now produces damaging hitboxes and is overall a more effective tool at walling out opponents.
However, Squirtle did also receive some nerfs. The most notable nerfs come from its separation from the Pokémon Trainer. Because of this, Squirtle can no longer switch out with Ivysaur or Charizard to improve its endurance, kill power and generally cover up its bad matchups. This also means that Squirtle is no longer affected by type effectiveness greatly hindering its endurance against fire attacks. As for direct nerfs, Squirtle's air acceleration was decreased making it harder to weave in and out in the air and Squirtle's aerials have considerably less range making it harder for Squirtle to wall out its opponents in mid-air. Some of Squirtle's moves including down smash and down aerial also have reduced KO power despite the improvements Squirtle's other KO moves received. The first hit of Squirtle's neutral attack has considerably less utility as it's slower and it can no longer lock opponents.
Overall, Squirtle is a more viable choice for competitive play due to no longer being bogged down by stamina, extremely slow and punishable switching between its party and its trainer's other less effective Pokémon which it was forced to switch between. Despite this, according of the latest tier list, Squirtle is now worse than its previous party members Ivysaur and Charizard. While Squirtle is lower in tier list than it was in Brawl (as predicted if judged as a standalone character) Squirtle in PM is overall much more viable thanks to the better balance.
Grabs and Throws
Up to date as of version 3.6.
In competitive play
Like Ivysaur and Charizard, Squirtle received more significant alternate costumes for Project M. It now uses its default costume for the Blue Team.
Each of Squirtle's new color schemes are based on other Pokémon.
In addition, it also has an alternate costume where it is dressed out as a Shinobi ninja, as well as a white recolor for said costume. Additional recolors were added in Project+.
Squirtle gains references to turtle Pokemon Carracosta and Turtonator, as well the water starter Oshawott. The Shinobi costume also gains team colors, and a black costume that resembles Koga.
Z-Secret Costume: Alternate Ninja Squirtle
R-Secret Costume: Rescue Team Squirtle