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. Additionally, he was among the first wave of amiibo figures. Kazumi Totaka reprises his role as Yoshi's voice actor, albeit via voice clips recycled from earlier installments of Super Smash Bros. and every game Yoshi has spoken in since Yoshi's Story.
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 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 (surpassed only by a fully Limit Charged Cloud, the lightest possible Mii Brawler, Wario-Man, and Giga Mac), while his double jump grants the farthest distance out of any double jump in the game and nearly 70 frames of armor. Yoshi's grounded mobility has also been improved, as his 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 edgeguarding option, Egg Lay is a command grab, Egg Roll can force approaches and escape from pressure, Egg Throw is a versatile projectile that has recovery and mindgame potential, and Yoshi Bomb is strong enough to either 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 should the opponent be stuck in lag. Yoshi is also able to jump out of his shield, a trait previously only possible in SSB, which further improves its reliability.
However, Yoshi also has noticeable flaws. His grab game is still infamously poor: all of his grabs are among the slowest in the game, while his throws have little to no utility due to their unimpressive knockback and glaring inability to initiate combos. Despite his useful shield, Yoshi's defensive presence on the ground is surprisingly lacking, as his rolls and sidesteps are short-distanced, among the slowest in the game, and have some of the lowest amounts of intangibility frames in the game. By extension, his very low traction further compounds his issues with shield pressure, and significantly hinders his otherwise useful and versatile out of shield options.
Yoshi's KO potential is also fairly unimpressive for a heavyweight. Although quite powerful, his smash attacks are burdened with short ranges, very short durations and punishable ending lag. His up aerial and Yoshi Bomb are also affected under similar circumstances: the former has a very short duration, while the latter has very short range and punishable ending lag. Lastly, Yoshi has very minimal vertical recovery outside of his double jump, as his primary recovery move, Egg Throw, offers 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, and when coupled with his fairly low learning curve, he can be a force to be reckoned with when mastered. Even though his rather exploitable weaknesses have resulted in a minimal presence in competitive play, Yoshi has nonetheless achieved varying degrees of success. This has been evident with him winning several local tournaments in singles and doubles play, thanks to the collective efforts of Firefly, Nikes, Raptor, JFK, Papa Wall and DIO. Outside of this, DIO has also achieved a few top 10 and top 50 placings at the regional level, while Raptor, Sky, Papa Wall and Poltergust have each achieved a few top 50 placings at the national level.
As in previous installments, Yoshi is a heavyweight that noticeably deviates from his weight class' archetype. He has above average walking and dashing speeds, average air acceleration and, most notably, the fastest air speed by default. However, he has among the slowest falling and fast falling speeds, below average gravity, and the third lowest traction. These traits give Yoshi excellent aerial mobility and great grounded mobility, yet do not leave him frail or susceptible to juggling. He is also able to crawl.
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 edgeguarding 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 decent knockback and possesses a lot of momentum, which 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 edgeguarding.
His air game is also versatile and synchronizes very well with his attributes. His neutral aerial is the second fastest of its kind due to coming out frame 3, and possesses a long-lasting hitbox, both of which make it great for stopping approaches and breaking out of combos or juggles. His forward aerial can either meteor smash or diagonally launch opponents with high knockback, and is capable of autocanceling with a short hop. His up aerial is his strongest aerial, as it can easily KO opponents of any weight class near the upper blast line, and also possesses disjointed range. Yoshi's back aerial is excellent at edgeguarding, because the first two hits launch opponents at the auto-link angle and the third hit has high base knockback. Lastly, his renowned down aerial hits repeatedly and is the most damaging aerial in the game, as it can deal a maximum of 32% and strongly pressure shields. It can even be followed up by a Yoshi Bomb for a shield break if it is autocanceled with a jump and the opponent still has their shield up by the end.
Yoshi's special moveset is also very useful. Egg Lay is a command grab that immobilizes opponents and allows for free hits. If opponents do not break out of the egg while near the edge, they will also be KO'd or unable to recover. Egg Roll can be used for approaching or retreating, and deals damage upon contact in either situation. Egg Throw gives Yoshi a dependable projectile that can be used to stop approaches, allow Yoshi to close in on the opponent and, when continuously B-reversed in the air, trick the other player as to where Yoshi is going to go next. Lastly, Yoshi Bomb can be used from out of shield as a surprise KOing option due to its power, or even as an alternative to fast falling.
However, Yoshi has noticeable weaknesses. His main weakness is his vertical recovery. While his attributes alone allow for long horizontal recovery, Egg Throw grants only minimal vertical distance. Even though he has the highest midair jump with a certain amount of armor, he is overly reliant on it to recover, 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 made by Yoshi off-stage could potentially prove fatal.
Another very glaring weakness is his poor grab game, which is often considered to be among the worst in the game. His grabs, despite having good ranges, are very punishable due to having noticeable start-up and high ending lag. His pummel is the only positive trait of his grab game, thanks to its quick speed and decent damage output. Yoshi's forward and back throws are his fastest and strongest throws, but they cannot KO until 270% and have only four follow-ups (dash attack, up smash, forward aerial and Egg Throw), with none of them being guaranteed. His up and down throws are too slow to combo effectively, while his up throw is also unable to KO even well past 350%. Yoshi's ability to escape pressure is also limited, since his rolls do not grant much distance and, along with his sidestep, are among the slowest in the game.
Lastly, Yoshi has fairly unimpressive KO potential despite being 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 are best suited for edgeguarding due to their launching angles (most notably forward aerial's meteor smashing hitbox), while Yoshi Bomb is best suited as an out of shield attack due to its very short range and punishable ending lag.
Yoshi gains noticeable benefits from his custom moves. Lick is possibly his best custom move, as it is a viable KOing option thanks to its high knockback growth, and can even provide horizontal recovery due to it slightly boosting Yoshi forward. Egg Launch deals more damage and can launch opponents off-stage, thus minimizing their chances of recovering and giving Yoshi some space. Heavy Egg Roll is slower, but deals much more damage and has armor throughout. Conversely, Light Egg Roll has more power and moves higher and faster, but ends after the bounce. High Jump gives more distance, improving vertical and horizontal recovery, but at the cost of Yoshi's projectile game due to no Yoshi Eggs being thrown. Star Bomb has less power, but the stars are larger and more damaging. Conversely, Crushing Bomb is punishable due to being slower and emitting no stars. However, it has much more power, as it can KO as low as 80%.
Overall, Yoshi fits the all-rounder archetype, much like Mario and Pit. As a result, he has no glaring issues against the majority of the cast, even though his weaknesses are easily exploitable. However, his tournament results and representation have remained below average in competitive play since the game's release, with professionals such as Raptor, Sky, Papa Wall and Poltergust achieving top 50 placings at the national tournaments.
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 brought Yoshi a few slight buffs and nerfs. These include an increase to Egg Lay's start-up lag in update 1.0.4 and his forward smash's range being decreased in update 1.0.6. However, he has also obtained a few buffs that help compensate. Yoshi also benefits from the changes to shield mechanics brought about by updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, which allow his down aerial and Yoshi Bomb to wear down shields much better.
In competitive play
Tier placement and history
Yoshi's perception has been positive since SSB4's release, as players pointed out his abundance of buffs had led him to become once again a viable choice in competitive play. Even so, 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, he was ranked 15th on the first tier list, making him the second highest ranking mid-tier character. While Yoshi has achieved somewhat more tournament success since then, his continually sparse results resulted in his ranking dropping to 23rd on the second tier list, and then again to 29th on the third and current tier list. While his current ranking is respectable, it has resulted in him losing distinction as the highest ranking mid-tier character to Ness, while his drop between the second and third tier lists is tied with Kirby and Pit's for the second largest.
In Event Matches
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