Yoshi (ヨッシー, Yoshi) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His return to the series was confirmed during the April 8th, 2014 Super Smash Bros. Direct, making him the last of the "perfect-attendance crew" to be announced. He was also among the first wave of amiibo figures. Kazumi Totaka reprises his role as Yoshi's voice actor, albeit via recycled voice clips.
Yoshi is currently ranked 29th out of 58 on the tier list, placing him in the C tier, and directly in the middle of the entire tier list. This is a vast improvement from his placement in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where he was ranked 27th out of 38. As in previous installments, Yoshi boasts excellent aerial mobility: he has the fastest air speed in the game by default, while his double jump is the second highest in the game and grants him nearly 70 frames of super armor. Yoshi's grounded mobility has also been improved, as his already fast dashing speed is now considerably faster.
Another of Yoshi's strengths is the utility of his moveset: his neutral attack and up tilt are very useful combo starters, his neutral aerial is a very useful approach and edge-guarding option, Egg Lay is a command grab, Egg Roll can force approaches or escape from pressure, Egg Throw is a versatile projectile that has recovery and mindgame potential, and Yoshi Bomb is strong enough to KO outright or heavily pressure shields. Another valuable trait is his shield, which is completely immune to shield stabbing and provides many out of shield options if the opponent is enduring lag. Yoshi is also able to jump out of his shield, a trait previously possible only in Super Smash Bros., which further improves its reliability.
However, Yoshi has noticeable flaws. His grab game is still infamously poor: all of his grabs are among the slowest in the game, while his throws' unimpressive have little to no utility thanks to their unimpressive knockback and glaring inability to initiate combos. Despite his useful shield, Yoshi's defensive presence on the ground is surprisingly lacking: his rolls and sidestep are among the unsafest in the game, while he is the only character who is unable to shield platform drop. By extension, Yoshi's very low traction further compounds his issues with shield pressure, and significantly hinders his otherwise versatile out of shield options. Yoshi's KO potential is also fairly unimpressive for a heavyweight: although his smash attacks, up aerial, and Yoshi Bomb are quite powerful, his smashes and Yoshi Bomb have short ranges, while they and up aerial are also burdened with very short durations and punishable ending lag. Lastly, Yoshi has very minimal vertical recovery outside of his double jump, as his primary recovery move, Egg Throw, grants little vertical momentum and deteriorates in distance when used consecutively without landing on the ground.
Overall, Yoshi's strengths are widely considered to outweigh his weaknesses. This has been reflected by his above average results in tournaments at all levels of play, even in spite of his playerbase being smaller than most of his fellow mid-tier characters.
As in previous installments, Yoshi is a heavyweight that noticeably deviates from his weight class' archetype. He has slightly above average walking speed, above average dashing speed, average air acceleration, and the ability crawl. Yoshi also possess two noteworthy attributes: he has the fastest air speed by default (surpassed only by Giga Mac, Wario-Man, the lightest possible Mii Brawler, and a fully Limit Charged Cloud, respectively), and has the second highest double jump, the latter of which also grants him 68 frames of super armor that can withstand a maximum of 120 units of knockback. However, his falling and fast falling speeds are among the slowest in the game, he has below average gravity, and he has the third lowest traction. Overall, these traits give Yoshi excellent aerial mobility and great grounded mobility, yet do not leave him frail or susceptible to juggling.
Yoshi's greatest strength is the utility of his moveset. His neutral and tilt attacks are all very fast, leaving him exposed only very briefly. They additionally launch opponents either vertically or horizontally, allowing follow-ups or edge-guarding opportunities, with his up tilt being a reliable combo starter into itself, neutral aerial, up aerial, or up smash at low percentages. His dash attack has high base knockback and possesses a lot of momentum, which make it useful for spacing, allow for easy cross-ups, and make it tricky to punish. His smash attacks possess decent speed, power and ranges, with his forward smash being his most reliable out of the three in regard to KOing. His down smash is a semi-spike like his down tilt, but possesses much more power in comparison, which also makes it good at edge-guarding.
Yoshi's air game is also versatile and synchronizes very well with his attributes. Due to it coming out on frame 3, neutral aerial is the second fastest of its kind; when coupled with its sex kick properties, it is useful for edge-guarding, stopping approaches, and breaking out of combos or juggles. Forward aerial can either meteor smash or powerfully launch opponents diagonally, and is capable of auto-canceling with a short hop. Up aerial is one of Yoshi's most viable KOing options: due to it coming out on frame 5 and possessing a respectable damage output, very high knockback growth, and disjointed hitbox, it can quickly and reliably KO any opponent of any weight class near the upper blast line. Back aerial is excellent at edge-guarding, as its first two hits launch opponents at the auto-link angle, whereas its third hit has extremely high knockback growth. Lastly, Yoshi's renowned down aerial hits repeatedly, and is the most damaging aerial in the game, as it can deal a maximum of 32%. By extension, it can strongly pressure shields, to the point that it can potentially break one if it is auto-canceled with a jump and followed by Yoshi Bomb.
Yoshi's special moveset is also very useful. Egg Lay is a command grab that immobilizes opponents and thus allows for free hits. If opponents do not break out of the Yoshi Egg while near the edge, they can also be KO'd or unable to recover. Egg Roll functions similarly to Spin Dash, as it can be used for approaching, retreating, and deals damage upon contact. Egg Throw is a projectile that can be used to stop approaches, grant minimal vertical recovery, allow Yoshi to close in on the opponent and, when continuously B-reversed in the air, keep the opponent guessing as to where he is going to go next. Lastly, Yoshi Bomb can be used from out of shield as a surprise KOing option thanks to its power, or even as an alternative to fast falling.
However, Yoshi has noticeable weaknesses. His main weakness is his vertical recovery: although his attributes allow for long horizontal recovery, Egg Throw grants only minimal vertical distance. By extension, Yoshi is overly reliant on his double jump for recovery, and will be unable to reuse it if he is hit out of it. As such, Yoshi is heavily susceptible to meteor smashes and footstool jumps, as a single opening he makes off-stage could potentially prove fatal.
Another very glaring weakness is his poor grab game, which is widely considered to be among the worst in the game. Yoshi's pummel is the only positive trait of his grab game, thanks to its quick speed, average damage output, and its release being a useful set-up into his neutral attack. Outside of this, his grabs' good ranges offset by their very punishable amounts of start-up and ending lag. Yoshi's forward and back throws are his fastest and most damaging throws, but their below average base knockback and low knockback growth make them unreliable for scoring KOs or starting combos. His up and down throws are also unable to KO reliably and, despite having low damage outputs, lack combo potential because of their slow speeds. Yoshi's ability to escape pressure is also limited, as his rolls and sidestep are short-distanced, among the slowest in the game, and have some of the lowest amounts of intangibility frames. By extension, he has the dubious distinction of being the only character in the game who is unable to perform shield platform dropping.
Lastly, Yoshi has fairly unimpressive KO potential for a heavyweight. His smash attacks and up aerial are his most reliable KOing options thanks to their respectable power, yet they are burdened with short durations and, in regard to his smashes, punishable ending lag. While Yoshi's neutral, forward and back aerials and Yoshi Bomb also possess KO potential, these aerials' launching angles are best suited for edge-guarding, while Yoshi Bomb's very short range and punishable ending lag make it best suited from out of shield.
Yoshi gains noticeable benefits from his custom moves. Lick is possibly his best custom move: in addition to being a viable KOing option, it can provide horizontal recovery, thanks to it slightly boosting Yoshi forward. Egg Launch deals more damage and launches opponents away, which can be used as a potent way minimize their chances of recovering. Heavy Egg Roll is slower, but deals much more damage and has armor throughout its duration. Conversely, Light Egg Roll has more power and moves higher and faster, but ends after its bounce. High Jump covers noticeably more distance, but in turn removes Yoshi's only projectile. Star Bomb has less power, but its stars are larger and more damaging. Conversely, Crushing Bomb is strong enough to easily KO opponents of any weight class, yet is punishable because of its much slower speed and lack of stars.
Overall, Yoshi is effectively a heavyweight version of the all-rounder archetype, thanks to his lack of glaring issues against the majority of the cast. Due to his strengths and low learning curve, Yoshi has managed to achieve respectable placings at all levels of play, thanks to the likes of Raptor, Sky, Papa Wall, Poltergust, Kamikaze, Seth, Snoop, and Ron. However, Yoshi's easily exploitable weaknesses have nevertheless resulted in his representation remaining below average in competitive play.
Changes from Brawl
Yoshi has been significantly buffed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. Many of his attacks have more speed and utility in addition to improving his combo game. He also has less trouble KOing with some of his attacks thanks to his new KO set-ups and his KOing options having been strengthened. Yoshi can now jump out of shield, removing his main weakness in Brawl. However, Yoshi received sizable nerfs to his damage racking ability. Many of his attacks also deal less damage, most of his aerials have higher landing lag and he can no longer perform his powerful air release chain grab. In addition, his fastest grab (pivot grab) has more ending lag. Despite these nerfs, Yoshi's buffs have had a significantly greater impact, leading to him being a better character than in Brawl.
Game updates have largely aimed at fixing glitches associated with Yoshi. Although he nevertheless received a handful of buffs and nerfs from them, they have overall been a mixed bag. This is evident with update 1.0.4 giving Yoshi partial intangibility in certain situations, yet increasing the lag of his dash attack, down aerial and Egg Lay. Updates 1.0.6 and 1.1.0 followed similar formats, as they each granted a single buff and a single nerf to his forward smash and back aerial, respectively. The changes to shield mechanics brought about by updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 indirectly buffed Yoshi, as they allow his down aerial and Yoshi Bomb to wear down shields much better than before. However, update 1.1.4 shortened the duration of his invincibility after tripping and during any trip follow-ups aside from his floor attack.
In competitive play
Tier placement and history
Yoshi's perception has been positive since SSB4's release, as players pointed out how his buffs restored his status as a viable choice in competitive play. Despite this, his tournament representation and results have not been high as other characters, with very sparse results from professionals, such as Papa Wall placing 13th at 2GGT: Mexico Saga. As a result, Yoshi was ranked 15th on the first tier list, which resulted in him becoming the second highest ranking mid-tier character after Captain Falcon.
Although Yoshi has achieved more tournament success since then, his continually sparse results negatively affected his tier status in subsequent tier lists. He would be ranked 23rd on the second tier list, but due to tier restructuring and Captain Falcon being reassessed as a high-tier character, Yoshi serendipitously became the highest ranking mid-tier character. As of the third and current tier list, Yoshi is ranked 29th, which has resulted in him losing his status as the highest ranking mid-tier character. By extension, this tier drop is tied with Kirby and Pit's for the second largest between the second and third tier lists. Despite his lower rankings, Yoshi's current ranking is nevertheless respectable.
In Event Matches
Ads keep SmashWiki independent and free :)