Wolf (ウルフ, Wolf) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed playable on June 12th, 2018. Wolf is classified as fighter #44.
Jay Ward, Wolf's English voice actor from Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Starlink: Battle for Atlas, reprises his role while Kōsuke Takaguchi, Wolf's Japanese voice actor from Star Fox 64 3D and Star Fox Zero, replaces Mahito Ōba.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Wolf must then be defeated on Lylat Cruise.
Wolf's attributes and moveset give him a versatile gameplan, somewhere in the middle ground between Fox's pressure-focused playstyle and Falco's punish-oriented gameplay. This is reflected in his attributes, which include a slow dash speed (though his initial dash is quite fast), above average walk speed, and a high falling speed and gravity characteristic of the Star Fox characters. Unlike the other space animals, however, Wolf has among the highest air speeds in the game, and is also significantly heavier than them. Though his special moveset and vertical mobility are derived from his brethren, the similarities end there, with Wolf being the most unique of the trio.
Wolf's Blaster is the centerpiece of his neutral game. With the lasers causing hitstun and having a high duration and transcendent priority, they grant him the ability to disrupt opponents' approaches, even when their grounded mobility is superior to his own, and its unique close-range hitbox on the bayonet give it some utility in close combat, dealing substantial damage if it connects. An opponent will likely resort to jumping over the projectiles, at which point they are open to Wolf's fast aerial attacks, which are comprised of a disjointed forward aerial that can combo into itself and his other aerials, a fast neutral aerial that is quite strong at the sweetspot while having a lingering hitbox, a back aerial whose moderate start-up is offset by its high power, and an up aerial well-suited to juggling. While he can apply pressure from a distance, Wolf is not wanting for close-range options either. Jab and down-tilt are decent pokes, forward smash has deceptively low ending lag, and his neutral, forward, and back aerials are quite fast and difficult to punish even if blocked, while his standing grab is tied for the fastest in the game. Further augmenting his strong neutral game are his dash attack and reflector, the former of which is useful for punishing aerial approaches and KO'ing at very high percents, while the latter ensures he has priority over opposing camping.
Once Wolf has won the neutral exchange, he has several options to rack up damage. Forward aerial can combo into itself and other aerials, and into a grab at very low percentages, from which up throw can lead into another forward or up aerial until mid-percentages. Should an opponent air dodge in an attempt to escape pressure, Wolf's aerial mobility allows him to chase them down and punish them, usually with a back aerial or up tilt after landing. Once his foe is at high percentages, he can threaten them with an outright KO by spacing his safe back aerial and forward smash, or force them offstage with his neutral aerial, forward tilt or throws, after which he may attempt punishing their recovery with another aerial, or cover their ledge options with a down smash. At very high percentages, his fast grab becomes threatening as well, with his back throw KO'ing effectively at the ledge.
Wolf is not free of weaknesses. Though he is not short of finishers, he frequently has difficulty landing them, as he lacks methods to reliably set-up into them, often leading to him throwing out back aerials and forward smashes to seal the stock, while his up smash has high ending lag and his back throw requires rage and stage positioning to KO at reasonable percentages. However, by far Wolf's greatest downfall is his endurance: as with the other space animals, his physics render him highly susceptible to combos. While Wolf is much heavier than both Fox and Falco, Wolf’s weight renders him vulnerable to a myriad of combos, while not being heavy enough to allow him to survive high percents. Most critically, his recovery is among the worst in the cast. His up special, Fire Wolf, is linear and offers poor vertical recovery, making meteor smashes deadly against him even at lower percentages, and his main method of recovery, Wolf Flash, is also linear, though it does offer fair horizontal distance along with a dangerous spiking hitbox. Further worsening the issue, unlike Fox and Falco, both of his recovery options cause helplessness, restricting him to one option offstage and leaving him with a much shorter recovery distance overall. In addition, because Wolf moves diagonally during Wolf Flash, ledges will not stop him. This, in conjunction wih his helpless state, will cause using Wolf Flash near the ledge very risky, as it is extremely easy to self-destruct.
Overall, Wolf is a non-traditional glass cannon. Wolf sacrifices the power of other glass cannons such as Mewtwo for sheer versatility, being able to adapt to nearly any playstyle. His combination of an excellent projectile and good frame data allow him to switch playstyles on a whim, while his combos and aerial mobility ensure he can keep up the pressure on his opponent even after winning the neutral game. However, a Wolf player must be ready to play the long game, as it is not unusual for his foe to live for very long, and a single mistake could see Wolf sustaining heavy damage from combos before finding himself offstage, where often times one more hit is all that is needed to seal his fate.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Wolf has been buffed considerably in his transition from Brawl. He is much more nimble than in his previous appearance, sporting a significantly improved mobility with slightly faster dash and air speeds (although this is the case with the entire cast), and a much faster fast fall speed. Coupled with his superior mobility is the buffs to his Blaster (which shoots larger lasers which deal more damage), already an effective projectile in his previous appearance, and his new dash attack, both of which improve his neutral game. His aerial attacks have also seen improvements: his new neutral aerial gives Wolf an effective, all-purpose aerial, his forward aerial can now be followed up from due to its notably reduced ending and landing lag, and his back and up aerials have deceptively increased power (most notably the former). Wolf's grab game also received some noteworthy buffs, now having a strong throw in his back throw and decent combo starters in his up and down throws. Finally, his Fire Wolf and Wolf Flash are far stronger, giving him two more powerful, if risky, KO options; the latter in particular has received the ability to change its trajectory up or down, slightly improving his horizontal recovery.
Wolf also heavily benefits from the changes to gameplay mechanics. The new airdodge mechanics, as well as the changes to hitstun canceling, make him better at comboing and juggling his opponents for a longer period of time, which pair well with his improved mobility. The changes to momentum canceling allow his moves to KO earlier and overall put his survivbility more in line with the cast. Lastly, the new ledge mechanics, the removal of chain grabbing and meteor canceling also significantly improve his survivability, while the latter change make his down aerial and Wolf Flash more effective at KOing off stage.
However, Wolf has received a few significant nerfs as well. Some of his moves have received less range and increased lag in all aspects, most notably his forward and down smash attacks, and his renowned back aerial from Brawl, in exchange for more power; the latter two are particularly noteworthy due to their previous speed and already decent power. Because of this, Wolf has a more difficult time scoring KOs as his options are much harder to land in general, forcing him to either make hard reads or find ways to combo into Wolf Flash off-stage (which is extremely risky as the opponent can DI to avoid it and Wolf has to aim it accurately, the latter of which can cause a self-destruct since it causes helplessness). His already poor recovery has been made worse, as both Fire Wolf and Wolf Flash have decreased distance, making him slightly more susceptible to meteor smashes than in Brawl. His Blaster also has increased ending lag. His neutral and down aerials are also slightly weaker (with the former being slower) and he also lost one of his better kill moves in forward aerial (though it has gained combo potential). Finally, his new down throw is weaker and cannot be used for edgeguarding and tech-chasing, unlike his previous down throw.
Despite Ultimate's new mechanics heavily benefiting Wolf, he has also seen a few nerfs from the changes to the mechanics, most notably the removal of DACUS which hinders his grounded approach. Lastly, his lower weight worsens his survivability, especially horizontally (which is also hindered by the changes to momentum canceling), while he remains an easy combo target due to his high falling speed and the changes to hitstun canceling.
Overall, Wolf's nerfs are overall offset by the new game mechanics and the buffs he has received, which has currently allowed him to fare better than he did in Brawl during Ultimate's early meta. So far, he has managed to achieve excellent representation and results thanks to Zackray winning multiple Japanese majors with the character, as well as numerous other players.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In any victory pose, there's a chance Wolf will say "Playtime's over, Star Fox!" (遊びは終わりだ、スターフォックス！, Playtime is over, Star Fox!) if Fox was present during the match.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Reunited Roster
Wolf fights fighters who are veterans that didn't appear in Super Smash Bros. 4. Notably, his boss, Galleom fits in with the theme, as he was cut from SSB4 as well.
Role in World of Light
Although Wolf does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except for Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Wolf was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He is unlocked in the Mysterious Dimension in the Dark Realm. The player must defeat the Andross spirit (which is the answer to a given question) to reveal a path leading to a wrecked airplane. His unlock battle is on the plane's tail (just to the left of the Krystal spirit).
Wolf's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Wolf in World of Light allows the player to preview the first 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.
Character Showcase Video
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