Wario (ワリオ, Wario) returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. He was officially confirmed on October 3rd, 2014 alongside Ness and Falco, coinciding with the North American and European release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. This time around, he is unlockable, as opposed to being available from the start in Brawl.
He retains his biker outfit from the WarioWare series, as well as his overalls from the Mario games. He is voiced by Charles Martinet, who voices the character in all but a few of his appearances, as well as Mario, Luigi, and Waluigi, using the same voice clips from Brawl.
In the current tier list, Wario is ranked at 36th position out of 58 characters, a large drop from his 10th out of 38 in Brawl. Like in Brawl, Wario surprisingly possesses great aerial mobility and good overall mobility for a heavyweight, with great aerial attacks and a strong ground game to complement this. He has great setups with most of his aerial attacks and bike projectiles as his aerials have low end lag and a huge stun hurtbox with the bike, which can be used repetitively to pressure his opponents for defense and racking up damage.
However, while some of his finishers were made more powerful, they are generally laggier, particularly in regards to startup and cooldown lag, making him more dependent on baiting and reading in order to KO opponents. Furthermore, Wario's lack of effective anti-projectile methods, along with his relatively average range, hinders his ability to space and approach, especially against characters with effective disjoints or projectiles.
While Wario has had a few high placings at tournaments, including a fifth place finish from Reflex at MLG World Finals 2015, his tournament representation has been poor for a character of his tier, with other characters near him on the tier list generally commanding larger playerbases and slightly better tournament results. Furthermore, a number of his best players, such as Abadango, have dropped him as a main in lieu of characters deemed more viable.
How to unlock
Wario must then be defeated on WarioWare, Inc.. Defeating him will unlock both him and the stage.
Wario must then be defeated on Gamer.
Wario is a short, heavyweight character with a deceptively good air game and an excellent amount of recovery options. Wario boasts the fifth-best air speed in the game, in addition to well-above-average air acceleration, which grants him some of the best aerial mobility of any character; however, his dash and walk leave a lot to be desired. Using his high mobility and versatile aerial attacks, Wario is able to dip in and out of the fray to bait attacks and punish. In spite of its poor speed, Wario has a formidable ground game as well, with many of his attacks dealing heavy damage and high knockback while not being particularly slow, outside of his smash attacks.
His special moves are very unorthodox, and demand practice to use at their highest potential. Chomp is one of the best command grabs in the game, having deceptively long range and almost no startup or ending lag. It can effectively cover certain edge recoveries, negate certain attacks such as Spinning Kong, and absorb many projectiles, often with the benefit of healing him and slightly increasing the charge of his Wario Waft. Wario Bike gives Wario a solid approach option that covers for his low ground speed, and continues to move forward and hit enemies after he dismounts it. It also respawns very quickly when destroyed or lost, giving him a large and fairly reliable pseudo-projectile which can apply pressure when used effectively. Ending a wheelie with the Wario Bike will cause great knockback to an enemy it hits, as well as dealing a considerable amount of shield damage. When in the bike, pressing the special or jump buttons will have Wario jump off. As a result, this move can provide Wario with a literal third jump if his double jump had already been used, and this can be further extended with a corkscrew, making Wario's recovery exceedingly above average.
Despite his array of unusual attacks, Wario has overall lackluster reach and lacks a true projectile, thus he must first close the distance between him and his opponent in order to land an attack. Because of this, Wario struggles most against characters who make frequent use of long-ranged attacks, such as Shulk, Cloud, and Link. This, combined with his relative lack of reliable KO moves, especially compared with other heavyweights, means that Wario must play unpredictably, relying on deception and mindgames to earn a KO on an unsuspecting opponent.
With custom moves turned on, Wario gains a number of solid options. Speeding Bike allows for easy follow-ups after a successful hit due to its high speed being able to overtake an opponent who's been launched by it, along with being even better for recovery; however, it can be stuffed by enemy attacks easily due to its low durability. The Burying Bike, while offering little for recovery, is extremely durable and can act as an effective shield against projectiles, helping to alleviate Wario's range problems. The Rose-Scented Waft, while much weaker than its standard counterpart, possesses a gigantic hitbox that can make it nigh-unavoidable in the hands of a competent player, and can tack on a huge amount of damage if the opponent doesn't commit to button mashing to shake the flower off. The Quick Waft, meanwhile, is decidedly stronger than the Rose-Scented Waft, charges almost four times faster than the standard, and executes faster than the other versions, giving Wario a more readily available KO option in exchange for the massive power of the standard. The Corkscrew Leap offers a good deal of extra distance and speed in exchange for the damage of the standard, which leaves Wario more vulnerable during recovery in exchange for allowing him to go deeper for edgeguards than before.
Overall, Wario is a capable character with a bevy of unusual, yet useful attacks. However, Wario must stay unpredictable in order to be used effectively, lest his opponent end up seeing through his strategy.
While Wario does not have a significant amount of competitive representation, his few tournament results have been impressive, with players such as TheReflexWonder and Glutonny utilizing advanced play tactics and Wario's unconventional combo potential to reasonable effect.
Changes from Brawl
Wario received some buffs that address some of his former flaws in Brawl, but has also received several nerfs that differentiate him significantly from his Brawl incarnation, nerfing him overall. While he has technically received more buffs than nerfs, the few drastic downgrades he received ultimately caused him to further rely on a deceptive play style in order to secure KOs. He has been given multiple improvements to his recovery, being able to use his more versatile Wario Bike to recover more reliably. Many of his attacks deliver much more knockback, such as his new forward smash and the Wario Waft. Wario's ground game has been slightly improved, with many of his attacks having less start-up lag and the Wario Bike being much stronger and more reliable. Once dismounted, the Wario Bike is now equipped with traveling hitboxes, granting Wario an armored projectile of sorts. Wario's poorer aerials have been improved, with his forward and back aerials delivering increased knockback. Some moves also have less endlag, such as his down tilt.
Despite many of these changes being beneficial to Wario, he has received heavy nerfs to many of his previously effective options. One of the more noticeable nerfs was the reduction of his air speed and acceleration, although they are still the 3rd best in the game. He also is significantly harmed by the removal of DACUS as it removes his effective Gatling Combo. Although some of his moves have less endlag, others have much more, such as his forward smash, which is much less consistent due to now being slower and lacking transcendent priority and armor. Wario's aerials have been re-tooled, many of them delivering increased knockback, with the exception of his neutral and previously reliable up aerial. However, due to the vertical knockback trajectory of Wario's neutral aerial and the reduced knockback of his up aerial, Wario is now able to utilize both to capitalize on a fair amount of combo potential.
Being a heavy character, Wario does gain some benefit from the rage mechanic present in Smash 4, being able to deliver increased knockback when at a high percentage. However, without his arsenal of moves that could reliably KO, Wario's reliance on racking up an opponent's damage leaves him even more vulnerable to the increased knockback delivered by adversaries under the influence of rage. He benefits from the removal of edgehogging, as it makes Corkscrew a much more advantageous recovery option.
Wario's notorious grab release that plagued him in Brawl was also fixed in patch 1.0.4.
Wario has only received very minor buffs in the game's updates. The only real significant buff he received was in 1.0.4, which fixed his notorious grab release which allowed multiple characters to combo him out of a release. Changes to the shield mechanics in 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, however, seem to favor Wario slightly due to the high hitlag his attacks have when mounting the bike.
In competitive play
Tier placement and history
Wario was at first considered to be a character around the same potency as in the Brawl metagame, with players pointing out the changes to the game's physics had benefitted him more than worsening him, most notably the addition of rage, plus his KO options were improved in general. Despite his below average playerbase, players such as Abadango, Glutonny and TheReflexWonder started to demonstrate his capabilities in competitive play by adapting to a more deceptive playstyle. Even so, players would soon realize he had also lost the great potency on his aerial game, now being just slightly above average. His well-regarded status would also drop after Abadango dropped him in favor of Meta Knight. Regardless, and after an extremely solid 5th place at MLG World Finals 2015 from Reflex, Wario was eventually placed at 21st on the first 4BR tier list.
However, Wario's tournament representation and results have remained rather scarce, in particular due to the majority of the mid- and low-tiered characters eventually outperforming him in several tournaments, and the changes to the game's physics having also demonstrated they had reduced a lot of his potency at camping, to the point he had to rely much more on baiting and KOing a careless opponent with his slower, albeit more powerful moves. Eventually, Wario dropped to 34th place on the second tier list, the second largest drop (tied with Luigi) between the first and second tier lists. He has since then seen another very slight drop to 36th on the third and current tier list.
In Event Matches
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