Yoshi (SSBM)

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This article is about Yoshi's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Yoshi.
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Universe Yoshi
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Tier D (12) (North America)
D (11) (Europe)
A dinosaur that boasts surprising jumping prowess.
—Melee's instruction manual

Yoshi (ヨッシー, Yoshi) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He was announced as a playable character at the E3 2001. He possesses a more realistic dinosaur crouching posture and mottled skin in Melee.

He is currently ranked 12th out of 26 on the current tier list, placing him in the D tier. This is a slight drop from his previous placement in Smash 64, where he was ranked 5th out of 12. Yoshi has outstanding combo ability with his double jump cancelling (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. However, Yoshi has a number of significant flaws. One is his lack of a "true" third jump, which creates a reliance on his large double jump; although it gives Yoshi super armor, he has almost no chance of recovering if he is hit out of it. His high falling speed also makes him a target for combos. Additionally, his shield acts as a double-edged sword; while it protects Yoshi from shield stabs, it cannot be jumped out of, limiting Yoshi's defensive options.

Yoshi has long been considered to have some of the worst matchups all around, with five matchups considered nearly unwinnable, and only one being considered favorable against Kirby; he also has the dubious distinction of being one of only two characters that have an even matchup against Bowser. However, due to large innovations in Yoshi's metagame by aMSa, as well as strong tournament placements by him, Yoshi's matchups have been debated in the Melee community, and his placement has greatly improved in the most recent tier lists. Yoshi has also seen a significant increase in his playerbase in recent years, thanks to aMSa.


Yoshi's unique shield allows him to escape pressuring situations.
Yoshi's edgeguarding game is complimented by his unique double jump, which allows him to turnaround, so he can quickly edgehog by simply running offstage and using his double jump in the opposite direction. Yoshi can also grab the edge facing either direction whilst using Egg Throw.

Yoshi does not fall into an specific character archetype, due to a large amount of strongly varying characteristics. Yoshi has among the highest jumping prowess in the game, as well as a very high air speed, fast falling speed, low traction, and fast dashing speed. As a result of these properties, Yoshi has a rather long wavedash. He is also a heavyweight, giving him great survivabilty all around, and when combined with his super armor on his double jump, it's somewhat common for Yoshi to survive at over 200% damage.

Among Yoshi's greater strengths is his air game. His high air speed and a highly maneuverable midair jump, as well as fast, low-lag, sometimes multi-hitting aerials, aid his comboing game; the addition of a meteor smash via his forward air also gives him a viable combo finisher. Adding to this, Yoshi's small short hop, above average falling speed and low-lag aerials make his SHFFL useful for approaching. Additionally, Yoshi's aerial attacks can be of significant power; his neutral and up aerial have KO potential, as does his forward aerial due to its meteor smash potential. 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. Adding to this rather strong aerial game, Yoshi can also double jump cancel, leading to a variety of interesting possibilities and mind games in his combos.

Yoshi's ground approach is also good, due to a variety of ground-based tactics. In addition to a down tilt with semi-spike and fixed knockback properties, Yoshi has among the most flexible projectiles in all the game; Egg Throw 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 grab game is also good; in addition to a ranged grab, Yoshi's up and down throws can lead to a variety of combos, and his forward and back throws can force edgeguarding situations.

One of Yoshi's biggest flaws, however, is his lack of a true third jump, which makes his recovery game rather polarizing. His midair jump does certainly have 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, 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. A lack of damaging hitboxes in his limited recovery options makes Yoshi easy to edgehog, and gives Yoshi almost no mix-up choices in his recovery. However, he can protect himself to some degree by using a well-timed forward aerial during the jump, threatening incoming foes with a quick meteor smash down into the abyss should they improperly space their attacks.

Yoshi's shield game is also a double-edged sword. Yoshi's shield is unique in that it 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. However, such a shield also takes away options from Yoshi that all other characters in the game have. While his spot dodge and rolls are decent, he is notably unable to jump out of his shield. This leads to a lack of options, especially in the punish game, when put onto the defense. Yoshi's grab is slow, short, and easily telegraphed, making it difficult to punish an attack on his shield with a shield grab, and he is unable to wavedash or do a short hopped aerial out of shield to capitalize on an enemy's mistakes. Additionally, while Yoshi's light shield is able to keep him safe, it may also move him into less desirable positions on the stage, especially if the enemy is looking for stage control. It is difficult for Yoshi to regain momentum near the edge after an enemy in the middle hits his light shield away.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee[edit]

Yoshi received a mix of buffs and nerfs. While Yoshi's comboing ability has been further improved due to the much faster falling speeds, as well as retaining the ability to double jump cancel, his out of shield game has been nerfed due to the fact he can no longer jump out of his shield. Despite this, he is still seen as a viable character.


  • Change Yoshi received a slightly more realistic appearance, with mottled skin and a more dinosaur-like posture.


  • Buff The addition of directional air dodges improves his recovery.
  • Buff Due to his slower falling speed (55 (JPN)/58 (NTSC/PAL) → 1.93), he has less trouble with combos against floaty characters.
  • Nerf Air speed is slightly slower (44 (NTSC/PAL) → 1.2), though it remains one of the best air speeds in the game.
  • Nerf Walking speed is slightly slower (0.38 → 1.15).
  • Nerf Can no longer jump out of his shield, significantly hindering his OoS options and exacerbating his already-poor ability to deal with shield pressure.
  • Nerf Yoshi is significantly lighter (115 → 108), going from a super heavyweight to normal heavyweight.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Forward tilt is easier to combo from at higher percentages on most characters.
  • Buff Forward and up smashes are slightly quicker.
  • Buff Up smash now only hits opponents vertically, making it much easier to combo from.
  • Buff Down smash now has negligible startup lag, considerably more power, and a more favorable semi-spike launch angle, making it Yoshi's best KOing option.
  • Nerf New up tilt is less useful for combos at lower percentages.
  • Nerf Down tilt is less useful for gimping at very low percentages, but it still remains a solid gimping tool overall.
  • Nerf Forward smash is significantly weaker, going from the fourth strongest forward smash in Smash 64 to the tenth weakest forward smash in the game.
  • Nerf Forward tilt and up smash are slightly weaker. The latter can also no longer be used as a horizontal finisher.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral, forward, and up aerials are stronger.
  • Nerf Forward aerial has much more startup lag (although most of the meteor smashes have this problem).
  • Nerf Due to the introduction of Meteor canceling, Forward aerial can now be meteors canceled, weakening it's edge-guarding ability.
  • Nerf Down aerial has a slightly lower possible damage output (56% → 53%).
  • Nerf Down aerial now cannot be auto-cancelled in a short hop.
  • Change New back aerial is a much weaker multi-hit attack that is no longer able to KO but is now a very potent damage racking attack, (although it is not as potent as his down aerial).

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff Yoshi now has an up throw and a down throw, giving him more versatility after a grab.
  • Nerf Yoshi's dash grab places the hitboxes of his head and tongue in the background for unknown reasons, which may cause the grab to miss thin opponents in certain circumstances.[1]

Special moves[edit]

  • Change Yoshi has a new special move: Egg Roll. While the move is not very useful as an attack, it helps Yoshi's very limited recovery options.
  • Buff Egg Throw now has greater versatility. They can now extend aerial combos and set up for various aerial KOing options or a smash attack.

PAL differences[edit]

Like other characters, Yoshi received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.

  • Buff Yoshi is heavier (108 → 111).
  • Buff Forward and up smashes deal 1% more damage.
  • Nerf Down aerial deals considerably less damage (53% → 38%).


For a gallery of Yoshi's hitboxes, see here.

Yoshi's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% Yoshi does a very fast short-ranged kick followed by a more powerful kick.
Forward tilt   13% Sticks his foot out in a similar fashion to the second hit of his neutral attack, only with more range and knockback. Can combo into a forward aerial (especially when angled up), can lock and if DI'd come back onto the stage, Yoshi can use this to fastfall and then followup with a down smash. Can be angled up or down.
Up tilt   10% Does a very fast but short-ranged tail swipe upwards.
Down tilt   10% Performs a low sweep with his tail. Has fixed knockback. It can be used as a gimping move, particularly at base to low percentages.
Dash attack   9% (clean), 8% (late) Does a running headbutt. Yoshi's head is intangible during the early transition of the move.
Forward smash   16% (NTSC), 17% (PAL) Reels his head back, then slams it forward as a powerful headbutt. This move is somewhat predictable, but it has good KO potential. Can be slightly angled up or down. Yoshi's head is intangible while the hitboxes are active.
Up smash   14% (NTSC), 15% (PAL) Headbutts upwards. Just like his forward smash, Yoshi's head is intangible while the hitboxes are active.
Down smash   14% (front), 12% (back) Swipes his tail in front and then back. A very useful edgeguarding move that powerfully sends opponents on a low semi-spike trajectory. Considered Yoshi's best KO move.
Neutral aerial   14% (clean), 10% (late) A sex kick with decent knockback.
Forward aerial   17% Brings his head back and forcefully swings it down. It is the third most powerful meteor smash in the game, and isn't particularly slow (though its speed was significantly lowered from Smash 64). It is a good edgeguarding move and can lead into a down smash when used onstage.
Back aerial   7% (hit 1), 6% (hit 2), 5% (hit 3), 4% (hit 4) Swipes his tail four times behind him. Great for racking up damage, although not as great as his down aerial. All hits deal up to ≈20.65% when used fresh.
Up aerial   13% Thrusts his tail upwards very fast. Can be used to juggle, working especially well when DJC'd.
Down aerial   NTSC: 4% (hits 1-14)
PAL: 3% (hits 1-14)
Rapidly peddles his feet downwards as he descends, weakly meteor smashing enemies. Most damaging aerial in Melee, dealing ≈51.32 if all 14 hits connect (NTSC version only).
Grab   Yoshi uses his tongue to grab an opponent and pull them into his mouth. His dash grab cause him to trip if he doesn't get anyone. Despite the appearance, Yoshi's tongue isn't a tether, though it's range and lag is between tethers and normal grabs.
Pummel   3% Chews on foe.
Forward throw   6% Spits foe out.
Back throw   6% Turns around and spits foe out.
Up throw   5% Chunks the opponent upwards.
Down throw   4% Forcefully slams foe into the ground.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and headbutts both sides of himself.
Floor attack (back)   6% Gets up and spin kicks both sides of himself.
Edge attack (fast)   6% Picks himself up and whips his tail in front.
Edge attack (slow)   12% Slowly gets up and slams his head forward with short range.
Neutral special Egg Lay 7% (egg), 4% (escape) Yoshi swallows the foe and turns them into an egg.
Side special Egg Roll 4-13% Turns into an egg and rolls around. The damage done is based on how fast Yoshi is moving. If the move is started in the air, it won't do any damage until Yoshi hits the ground. Yoshi also becomes helpless if the move is ended in the air, making it a useless recovery move. If the egg hits a ledge or wall, the egg breaks and the attack is over.
Up special Egg Throw 10% (grounded explosion), 12% (aerial explosion) Throws an egg at an upward arc. The strength and angle of the egg that is thrown can be controlled by holding the B button and tilting the control stick respectively during Yoshi's windup.
Down special Yoshi Bomb 14% (body), 1% (stars) Jumps and plummets downwards, producing stars when he lands. If used in the air, Yoshi will fall straight down. Can sweetspot the ledge only if Yoshi is facing towards one.


  • Faces the camera and jumps up and down, waving his hands in the air and saying "Yoshi!"

Idle pose[edit]

  • Looks from side to side.
Yoshi Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Yoshi Cheer NTSC Melee.ogg
Yoshi Cheer JP Melee.ogg
Description Yooo-Shiii...! Yo - Shi!
Pitch Deep male Female

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated combination of two small musical excerpts from Yoshi's Story.
  • Looks up at the sky with his hands together, spins once, and gives a V sign with his hand.
  • Punches the air, then makes a "ta-da" pose. (His animation when chosen in Super Smash Bros. 64.)
  • Angrily, he punches a few times, and then turns his back on the screen, facing right.
Yoshi-Victory1-SSBM.gif Yoshi-Victory2-SSBM.gif Yoshi-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In Competitive play[edit]


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
YoshiHeadSSBM.png -3 -3 -2 -3 -2 -3 -2 -2 -1 -3 -2 Mirror match -2 -2 -2 -2 -1 -2 ±0 ±0 ±0 -1 ±0 ±0 ±0 +1 -2

According to the most recent character matchup chart, Yoshi has terrible matchups all around. He was thought to only have an advantageous matchup against one character, Kirby, while he was hard countered by five characters (three of which are in the top tier), countered by ten characters, and soft countered by three characters. He was thought to have even matchups with only six characters, most of whom were in the low tier. Yoshi's strengths were not as prevalent at the time due to his stagnant metagame, causing professionals to weigh his poor range and recovery heavily against him. Characters who could exploit these weaknesses, such as Fox, Falco, Sheik, Peach and Samus, were thought to have clearly winning chances against him.

With new innovations in Yoshi's metagame, however, many of these matchups have since been considered outright inaccurate. Developments in Yoshi's punish game have showed that he has the ability to consistently combo and edgeguard his then-perceived counters, and that his defensive game is not as bad as once thought, primarily due to the greater use of Yoshi's unique light shield and the prevalence of shield dropping. As a result of this, many of his matchups, especially against Marth and Ice Climbers, are greatly debated, with even top professionals of said characters claiming Yoshi has the tools to have an even or even winning matchup against them. This forces even characters ranked higher than Yoshi to respect and play precisely against him to maintain their advantages they have against Yoshi in the neutral game. Owing to all of these factors, Yoshi's matchup spread is expected to improve significantly in the next iteration.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Yoshi professionals (SSBM)



  • USA BETA - Best Yoshi main in South Florida when active
  • Australia Bringer of Death - Best Australian Yoshi
  • Japan Fumi - Known as the best Japanese Yoshi main before aMSa
  • Sweden Leffen - Notably beat Professor Pro, Overtriforce, Dev, Paju, King Funk, and Beat
  • Netherlands mindtrick - Best Yoshi in Europe when active
  • Sweden Svampen - Pretty good matches against CaptainJack, Ek, and Helios

Tier placement and history[edit]

Yoshi has almost always been viewed as a nearly nonviable character 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; by this point, Fumi and other Yoshi professionals had begun to retire from Melee, leaving Yoshi's metagame relatively abandoned in the competitive scene.

Several years later, Leffen and V3ctorman both began to use Yoshi in tournaments, revitalizing and innovating Yoshi's previously stagnant metagame. They found that Yoshi's combo and punish game could easily capitalize against characters who were once thought to outperform him in every situation, especially against fastfallers, who were found to be vulnerable to Yoshi's deadly double jump cancelling combos. They also showed the many uses of Egg Throw, developing it as a zoning and edgeguarding tool. Despite these developments, Yoshi failed to rise out of the bottom tiers, and eventually, their standings with Yoshi started to falter as well. Leffen lost the drive to develop Yoshi and switched to Fox, while V3ctorman suffered from declining tournament placings as more people in his region learned the Yoshi matchup.

In late 2012 to early 2013, however, aMSa made his professional debut in Japan, taking top 8 in a Japanese tournament with only Yoshi, with his performance quickly piquing the interest of the American and European scenes. 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. 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, making him a mid-tier character.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

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.

Adventure Mode[edit]

Yoshi is the only character of a starting universe that does not have his own stage in Adventure Mode. However, the Yoshi universe is incorporated in the Mario universe instead.

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.

All-Star Mode[edit]

Yoshi and his allies are fought on Yoshi's Story.

Event Matches[edit]

Yoshi is featured in the following event matches:

Ending Images[edit]

Trophy descriptions[edit]

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:

Yoshis are gentle, fleet-of-foot dinosaurs that make their home on idyllic Yoshi's Island. They come in a variety of colors and have evolved an interesting trait to help increase their numbers: they can transform anything they swallow into an egg. With adhesive tongues and bottomless bellies, Yoshis have been known to eat anything.
  • Super Mario World [08/91]
Yoshi [Smash]
To make up for his lack of powerful airborne attacks, Yoshi has a miraculous jumping ability and is resistant to damage while in the air. Yoshi can also swallow a foe and transform him or her into an egg: try doing this close to an edge! The speed and power of the Egg Roll increases if you hold down the B Button, but it'll be tougher to control.
  • B: Egg Lay
  • Smash B: Egg Roll
Yoshi [Smash]
Yoshi has no third jump, so the timing of his second jump is of vital importance. The angle and distance of his Egg Throw can be altered by how you tilt the Control Stick and how long you press the B Button. When Yoshi lands after doing his Yoshi Bomb, stars appear on either side of him, making it hard for enemies to deliver counterattacks.
  • Up & B: Egg Throw
  • Down & B: Yoshi Bomb

Alternate costumes[edit]

Yoshi Palette (SSBM).png
YoshiHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadRedSSBM.png YoshiHeadBlueSSBM.png YoshiHeadYellowSSBM.png YoshiHeadPinkSSBM.png YoshiHeadCyanSSBM.png


  1. Williamson, Jeffrey. Melee is a 3D game (Yoshi's grab). YouTube. Retrieved on 2016-1-16.

External links[edit]

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