Like most of his appearances, he is voiced by Kazumi Totaka, albeit via recycled voice clips from Yoshi's Story and Smash 64.
He is currently ranked 10th out of 26 on the current tier list, placing him in the B+ tier. This is comparable to his previous placement in Smash 64, where he was ranked 5th out of 12. Yoshi has outstanding combo ability with his double jump canceling (especially against fast-fallers like Fox), a great aerial game (coupled with the third most powerful meteor smash in the game), and some decent approach options. He can also play mindgames and extend combos with his unpredictable Egg Throw, and has a very reliable finisher in his down smash, which has almost no start-up lag, outstanding reach and knockback, and a very favorable launch angle that is hard to DI against or recover from. Yoshi also has very unique mechanics, such as a knockback reduction armor active during his double jump, which he can use to tank hits or create counter punch opportunities by double jump canceling out of it. However, his lack of a "true" third jump means he can be vulnerable when hit out of it, or after canceling it. His high falling speed also makes him a target for combos. Yoshi's shield is also very unique. He cannot jump out of it once in the egg, but cannot be shieldstabbed, and suffers no shieldstun, meaning situations involving his shield play out very differently than they do for the rest of the cast. On the other hand, his shield startup animation has invincibility frames and can be jumped out of -the mechanic known as parry- giving him unique punish opportunities when an opponent hits him during that startup animation.
Although widely considered to be one of the worst characters in the game in Melee's early lifespan, his placement has greatly improved in the most recent tier lists due to large innovations in Yoshi's metagame by aMSa, as well as strong tournament placements by him. Yoshi has also seen a significant increase in his playerbase in recent years, thanks to aMSa.
Yoshi does not fall into a specific character archetype, due to a large amount of strongly varying characteristics and options that most other characters don't possess. Yoshi has among the highest jumping prowess in the game, as well as a fast dashing speed, fast falling speed, and the second fastest air speed in the game, surpassed only by Jigglypuff. As a result of his low traction and other properties, Yoshi has the fifth longest wavedash. He is also a heavyweight, giving him great survivability all around, and when combined with the armor on his double jump, it's somewhat common for Yoshi to survive at over 200% damage.
Perhaps Yoshi's greatest strength is his amazing air game. In addition to his high air speed and a highly maneuverable midair jump, as well as fast, low-lag, sometimes multi-hitting aerials to aid his comboing game, Yoshi can also double jump cancel, being one of only a handful of characters capable of performing this technique. By interrupting his midair jump with an aerial, Yoshi can use his powerful aerials in rapid succession, opening up a multitude of follow-ups and shield pressure. Yoshi can combine his double jump cancel with an already useful SHFFL (thanks to his low short hop and fast falling speed) to make his attacking and damage rate even faster. Additionally, Yoshi's aerial attacks themselves boast outstanding versatility; his neutral and up aerials have KO potential, as does his forward aerial due to its meteor smash potential (the third strongest in the game), making them incredible combo finishers. Yoshi's down aerial is also one of the most damaging attacks in all the game; if all hits connect, it can deal 53% (38% in PAL) on the outset, aided by a variety of weak meteor smash hitboxes. Meanwhile, back aerial is another highly damaging move that deals 20% if all hits connect. Finally, thanks to his double jump cancel and armor frames on his midair jump, Yoshi can even use his aerials to counterattack to a degree that no other character has access to, known as the double jump cancel counter.
Complimenting Yoshi's amazing air game is a varied grounded approach, thanks to his fast dashing speed and long wavedash. Like in Smash 64, Yoshi's forward tilt has outstanding combo potential, easily setting up his powerful forward aerial meteor smash or his down smash. Up tilt can combo into itself at low percents, and down tilt is a semi-spike with set knockback, giving it utility in tech-chasing and edgeguarding. Yoshi's smash attacks are all strong; forward and up smashes both grant intangibility on Yoshi's head, and down smash is considered his best KO move and one of the best down smashes in the game, thanks to it hitting on frame 6, having an enormous disjointed hitbox (the tail) that hits on both sides, and being an exceptionally strong semi-spike, making it a fearsome edgeguarding option and combo finisher. Yoshi's most useful grounded tool however is his up special, Egg Throw, which is one of the most flexible projectiles in the game; it is a powerful spacing tool as the eggs can be aimed in nearly limitless trajectories, allowing them to aid in camping on the ledge, playing mindgames against opponents, disrupting enemy recoveries, and extending combos.
Yoshi's defensive game is far different compared to the rest of the cast, largely due to his shield. Yoshi's shield is unique in that it is an egg that completely protects his body, leading to an impossibility of shield stabbing and it also has the unusual property of randomly perfectly shielding attacks, including grabs. Additionally, when Yoshi is light shielding and is hit by an enemy, he will slide an abnormally far distance away, especially if the attack has a great deal of knockback; this property of Yoshi's shield allows him to keep himself safe. Yoshi's shield also has the unique property that it suffers no shieldstun, meaning that Yoshi can act out of shield when hit faster than any other character, giving him access to exclusive punish and escape options on block. Yoshi also has an advanced technique unique to him due to his shield, known as parrying; although very difficult to perform, if the shield button is pressed three or fewer frames before an attack hits Yoshi, he will shrug off the attack but is not stuck in lag, allowing him to immediately retaliate. This technique, coupled with his aforementioned double jump cancel counter, can allow Yoshi to punish opponents in situations that would be safe against any other character.
Yoshi's unique traits, however, also give him weaknesses that are almost exclusive to him. One of his biggest flaws is his lack of a true third jump, which makes his recovery extremely polarizing. His midair jump has its advantages; it is the longest-traveling jump in the game, goes a considerable distance due to his good air speed, and comes with armor frames, which makes edgeguarding Yoshi a surprisingly difficult ordeal unless the edgeguarder has extremely powerful attacks or Yoshi is at a very high percentage. However, Yoshi is notable for being the only character in the game lacking an up special recovery, (previously thought to be a problem shared with Jigglypuff, but Sing can now be used if jumped and directly below ledges). As such, if Yoshi does end up interrupted during his recovery, he will often be knocked back far enough to where he cannot recover with a directional air dodge, sending him to his doom. Yoshi can't use his aerials to fend off edgeguarders either; while his double jump cancel is great for initiating combos, it highly compromises his recovery as he loses all upward momentum upon using an aerial (this also means a failed DJC onstage can force Yoshi offstage in a position where he is unable to recover). As such, Yoshi is notoriously easy to edgehog, as he has no methods of attacking aggressive edgeguarders without sacrificing distance on his double jump.
Yoshi's shield game, despite its merits and advanced techniques, is a double-edged sword, as he lacks shield options that every other character has. While his spot dodge is decent, his rolling dodges are among the worst in the game due to their slow speed and short distances. Far more critical, however, is his inability to jump out of his shield. This severely limits his punish or escape options in some situations when put on the defensive, as he is unable to wavedash or do a short hopped aerial out of shield to capitalize on an enemy's mistakes. Shield grabbing is also a largely ineffective strategy, as Yoshi has arguably the worst grab in Melee; as a ranged grab but not a disjointed grab like Link or Samus, its range is much more limited while still having punishable start-up and ending lag, and his dash grab is even worse because it can inexplicably miss opponents at point blank range (his throws themselves have decent utility, with his up and down throws being good combo starters, which makes his woes in landing grabs arguably even worse). Meanwhile, his ability to parry and DJC counter fail to compensate for all of this, as while they are effective, they are considerably harder to perform compared to a simple aerial out of shield or wavedashing out of it.
These two flaws tie into Yoshi's biggest weakness, which is his extreme difficulty in dealing with pressure. While he has great survivability due to his high weight, fast falling speed and double jump armor, Yoshi is also very easy to combo or chain grab, and his awkward hurtbox shape provides an easy target. While dealing with camping is less of an issue, it is still problematic as Egg Throw is slower compared to Fox or Falco's lasers, which makes it less of a camping threat to other characters despite its amazing versatility. Due to his inability to relieve pressure, it is imperative for Yoshi to win the neutral game, as any mistake on his end can result in a heavily damaging combo or an early gimp of his recovery.
Overall, Yoshi is perhaps the most unorthodox character in the Melee cast. He sacrifices several options that every other character has for ones that only he can take advantage of; his ability to DJC counter and parry partially make up for his inability to jump out of shield, and his third jump is replaced with a projectile that serves a wide variety of offensive and defensive purposes. This is also reflected by his archetype; his vulnerability to combos and awkward hurtbox are compensated with remarkable mobility for a character of his weight class, and his fast frame data and multitude of multi-purpose moves make Yoshi extremely dangerous when he gets within range to where he can land his blows. As such, Yoshi has an extremely high learning curve due to his advanced techniques used to compensate for his designed shortcomings, but in the hands of an unpredictable opponent, Yoshi can be a terror to face.
Changes from Super Smash Bros.
Yoshi received a mix of buffs and nerfs but was nerfed overall. His out of shield game has been nerfed due to the fact he can no longer jump out of his shield making his already poor out of shield game even worse as well as giving him a significant disadvantage while in shield compared to the rest of the cast. In addition to this, his shield grab is slower and his throws are much weaker. His damage output and KO potential have also been considerably decreased making it harder for him to close out stocks. His combo game is also worse in some aspects as some of his moves (such as up tilt) have been altered to give them less combo potential and the introduction of DI and the reduction of hitstun have also made his combo game less consistent. The introduction of meteor canceling has also significantly harmed him as it hinders the reliability of his forward aerial and it does not make him much less vulnerable to meteor smashes himself due to him only having one double jump and his Egg Throw not granting him any extra height.
Yoshi has also seen some buffs. Yoshi's comboing ability remains strong due to the much faster-falling speeds, as well as retaining the ability to double jump cancel. Despite the nerfs Yoshi's out of shield game received, his shield no longer suffers from shieldstun and he can still parry out of shield giving him unique options the rest of the cast does not have. Yoshi also benefits from the introduction of directional air dodges as they give him an extra recovery option and allow him to wavedash. As for buffs to his moveset, some of his moves are slightly faster either in terms of startup lag, ending lag, or both and his new side special Egg Roll gives him an additional recovery option.
Despite his nerfs, he is still seen as a viable character although he struggles against most of the top tier characters.
Like other characters, Yoshi received some changes in the PAL version of Melee which buffed him overall.
For a gallery of Yoshi's hitboxes, see here.
In Competitive play
Most historically significant players
Tier placement and history
Yoshi has historically been viewed as borderline nonviable for high-level play. He was often accused of having a terrible shield game, slow attacks, and an inflexible recovery, all of which many top and high-tiered characters could easily exploit. Yoshi's advantageous properties, such as his deadly double jump cancel combos, ability to parry, and flexible projectile, were not fully developed and written off as gimmicks. Initially starting as a mid-tiered character in the first tier list, Yoshi's standing consistently fell, with only Fumi and Bringer of Death making any significant impacts with him. By the ninth tier list, Yoshi had dropped to 22nd place on the tier list, firmly within the bottom tiers and the fifth worst; by this point, Fumi and the other Yoshi professionals retired from Melee, leaving Yoshi's metagame relatively abandoned in the competitive scene.
Several years later, players such as V3ctorman began to use Yoshi in tournaments, revitalizing and innovating Yoshi's previously stagnant metagame. They pushed Yoshi's punish game, becoming much more consistent at double jump canceling than professionals in the past, and also showed more uses of Egg Throw, developing it as a zoning and edgeguarding tool. Despite these developments, when the tenth tier list was out Yoshi only rose by one spot, and as a result, he failed to rise out of the bottom tier, and eventually, even V3ctorman suffered from declining tournament placings as more people in his region learned the Yoshi matchup. The only top-level representation for Yoshi was arguably Leffen, who never actually mained him and later dropped him in favor of Fox, thus leaving Yoshi's metagame stagnant once again.
In late 2012 to early 2013, however, aMSa made his professional debut in Japan, taking top 8 in a Japanese tournament with only Yoshi. He later finished 25th place in EVO 2013, sweeping his pools and taking a game off of Mew2King, a placement that convinced the Melee Back Room to move Yoshi up 3 places on the tier list following said tournament, making him a low-mid tier. aMSa later reappeared with Yoshi in several future tournaments, including Apex 2014 and Republic of Fighters 3, and, to the surprise of many, placed 5th at Apex 2015, defeating several renowned players of top-tiered characters, namely Lucky, Silent Wolf, Fly Amanita, and SFAT. aMSa's use of Yoshi was considered completely unique from those of Fumi, Leffen, and other previous Yoshi mains; he showed the use of parrying and spacing that was previously never seen before and demonstrated that Yoshi's ability to punish errors made by opponents was far greater than expected. While the Melee community has not yet updated the matchup chart in response to these developments, Yoshi has risen 6 places in the twelfth American tier list and 8 places in the third PAL Tier List, the best improvement on Melee's tier list, making him a solid mid-tier character.
Yoshi's placement in the current tier list has been a topic of debate since then. Throughout aMSa's earlier years in the scene, many noted his tendency to perform better overseas than in Japan, suggesting that he won mainly through matchup inexperience. However, in recent times, aMSa's performance has gradually gained momentum; not only has he begun to dominate his region, showing that he has erased any reliance on matchup inexperience from his game, he has been able to continue placing well at majors, placing 9th at GENESIS 5, 9th at GameTyrant Expo 2017, 7th at Full Bloom 4, 7th at Smash Summit 6, 5th at Get On My Level, and 4th at EGLX 2018 while defeating the likes of players such as Hungrybox, Plup, Mew2King, Axe, Wizzrobe, SFAT, and many others. To top all of that, aMSa is currently ranked 7th on the 2019 MPGR, becoming the first top 10 player to main a mid-tier character beside Axe since Shroomed's Dr. Mario in 2014. aMSa's astounding achievements helped push Yoshi into the top 10, and he now sits at 10th on the thirteenth and current tier list. Overall, thanks to aMSa, Yoshi has achieved great results, which increased his representation and helped develop his metagame, causing him to be much better than people thought.
In Classic Mode, Yoshi can appear as an ordinary, giant, metal opponent, or teamed up with Ness or Luigi as well as an ally in team and giant fights. In his appearances in one-on-one fights, he either appears in Yoshi's Island or Yoshi's Story.
Yoshi's appearance in the Adventure Mode occurs halfway through the first stage of the Mushroom Kingdom stage. Once the player reaches an elevated platform, a team of 10 Yoshis will appear, who must all be defeated to continue.
Yoshi and his allies are fought on Yoshi's Story.
Yoshi is featured in the following event matches:
In addition to the normal trophy about Yoshi as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing both Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Yoshi on any difficulty: