Yoshi (ヨッシー, Yoshi) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was revealed for the game along with the rest of the veterans on June 12th, 2018; he was the last veteran to be confirmed along with Luigi, appearing at the very end of the trailer. Yoshi is classified as fighter #05.
As in all previous Smash Bros. games, Kazumi Totaka's portrayal of Yoshi from Yoshi's Story and other games of the Mario series was repurposed for Ultimate.
Yoshi is a heavyweight fighter with above-average mobility, good frame data, and decent KO potential. He sports a unique shield in the form of a Yoshi Egg, which generally lasts longer than most shields and is larger in size; thus, it does a good job at protecting Yoshi from powerful attacks.
As said before, Yoshi sports excellent mobility: he has the 26th fastest walking speed, the 17th fastest dashing speed (with an above-average initial dash to boot), the single fastest air speed in the game, and the 14th highest air acceleration. Additionally, Yoshi sports the 17th highest jumping prowess in the game; this can be owed to his especially high double jump. However, his traction and gravity are only the 60th and 63rd highest in the game; further compounding this, his falling and fast-falling speeds are among the bottom 10 in the game. Thus, Yoshi is a very speedy, yet floaty character.
Complementing his high mobility, Yoshi's moveset possesses very good utility. Both hits of neutral attack can connect into each other for a jab lock; forward tilt serves as a reliable combo starter at low-mid percents, due to its moderate base knockback and vertical launch angle; up tilt is an effective combo starter with low knockback growth, and leads to KO confirms at higher percents; and down tilt is his fastest tilt, sporting good range and serving as a reliable tech chasing option. Lastly, dash attack has a high reach and duration; this, combined with its decent knockback, makes it good for KOing opponents at later percents and punishing rolls or techs. Yoshi's smash attacks are also useful in their own right: forward smash has a powerful sweetspot that outprioritizes its slightly weaker sourspot - allowing it to KO at reasonable percents - and has decent start-up, can be angled, and grants Yoshi intangibility for its duration; up smash has good horizontal and vertical range, reasonable start-up, and a powerful sweetspot, allowing it to KO at percents as low as 120% provided the sweetspot hits; lastly, down smash is extremely quick in both start-up and ending lag which, coupled with its good range, makes it an adept option for punishing rolling opponents.
Although his grounded moveset comes with potent attacks, it is Yoshi's aerial attacks that possess high usefulness and make up his fantastic air game. Neutral aerial has a very fast sex kick with low all-around lag, decent range, and good power, allowing it to either KO at surprisingly early percents, serve as an effective combo breaker, be a tech-chase set-up, and be his primary out of shield option. Forward aerial also possesses high range and reasonable all-around lag, and comes with impressive damage; its tipper hitbox meteor smashes opponents, allowing for offstage KOs to occur as early as 20%. Back aerial boasts high speed and high power, with its first two hits being effective combo starters and its final hit KOing below 130%. Up aerial possesses high vertical range and a hitbox that hits behind the opponent which, in tandem with its impressive damage output and low all-around lag, makes it an effective juggling option. Lastly, down aerial serves as the most damaging aerial in the game; its hits can easily link into each other, with its high vertical knockback allows it to KO at reasonable percentages near the upper blast zone. His grab is also relatively decent: his grab release and throws grant invincibility during their animations, pummel is fast and deals average damage, forward and back throws are decent KO options by the ledge, up throw has combo potential into his up air at low percents, and down throw has little ending lag making it his most useful combo throw.
Yoshi's special moves are also very effective tools for the character. Egg Lay is a command grab which traps the opponent in a egg for a short amount of time, allowing it to work as a damage racker, and when B-reversed is a effective surprise trapping option. Egg Roll travels decently fast on the ground and deals effective damage when running into an opponent, Yoshi Bomb gives Yoshi an option to escape juggles if the situation allows for it, can go through soft platforms, does high damage in both the ground and air, and the grounded version deals high shield damage. However, his best special move is easily his Egg Throw, his only but incredibly effective projectile. The trajectory of the move can be changed depending on the angle of the joystick, can bounce on the ground, and allow Yoshi to have an option for zoning.
Although Yoshi's strengths allow him to be effective in many instances, he has some noticeable weaknesses. Main problem being that his recovery is very limited: his double jump and air speed make getting back onstage with him more plausible, but his double jump can only be used once and if his opponent has a move that breaks his super armor limit, then he'll be in a very bad situation for getting back onstage. His other recovery options outside of his double jump are very short ranged and punishable, with Egg Throw only giving vertical distance upon its first three usages and directional air dodges having high ending lag.
His approach can also be very punishable as his moves outside of tilts are noticeably slower, with every one of his aerial attacks outside of up aerial having below-average startup and reach less than an typical disjoint. His grab is also very punishable when missed despite its invincibility and long range, Egg Lay is very limited and has no usage if the opponent is far away, Egg Roll has very predictable trajectory and is hard for Yoshi to get out of if the attack doesn't work well in his certain situation, and Yoshi Bomb is also predictable if used unsafely and has high ending lag when Yoshi hits the ground.
Overall, Yoshi is still a strong character despite his glaring weaknesses. With his fast speed and reliable attacks, he has the ability to combo, take out stocks, and play an effective neutral game. His tournament results have been very strong because of these attributes, with players such as Suarez, Squerk, Meme, and Raptor showing the potential that he has and debatable in his iteration since Smash 64, but it might be too early to tell for the latter.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Likely as a result from his mid-tier placement in Smash 4, Yoshi was significantly buffed in the transition to Ultimate.
One of the biggest buffs was to his previously poor KO power for a heavyweight. His KO power has been noticeably improved, as has his ability to rack up damage at lower percents thanks to changes to moves like back air and forward tilt. All of his aerials have reduced landing lag, and the universal nerfs to air dodging make his edgeguarding with both aerials and Egg Throw much more potent. His already excellent mobility was increased even more, as his walk and run speed are now faster, while Yoshi still has the fastest air speed in the game.
However, Yoshi has received some minor nerfs. One nerf was to his up tilt, which has less range, no longer hitting opponents from up close. Another slight nerf is that while his dash attack got buffed overall, it is more punishable since it can't cross up shields. Lastly, Yoshi retains some significant flaws from Smash 4, particularly his very underwhelming grab game and lack of effective recovery options other than his double jump, despite the buffs to Egg Throw.
Overall, Yoshi's buffs heavily outweigh his nerfs, resulting in a more menacing competitive presence and lower learning curve. As such, Yoshi's buffs have resulted in such a positive perception among the community. Most professionals except for ZeRo have acknowledge the viability of Yoshi and consider him as a high-tier character. As a result, Yoshi players such as Suarez, Meme, Ron, and Danbi all have amassed incredible results with Yoshi, with some arguing that this version is better than his Smash 64 iteration.
Throws and other attacks
Yoshi has not received many direct changes in updates, with the only major change being him getting invincibility during his throws and grab release.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Bursts out of a Yoshi Egg and strikes a pose.
In competitive play
Yoshi was, for some reason, the only original eight character to be excluded from the E3 demo build. It was difficult to find a pre-release consensus on Yoshi in Ultimate as those who did play the game early went to other characters first. When Yoshi eventually did release, however, numerous players of all skill levels took interest; on top of his strengths, he was rather easy to play and learn the game with. Also helping his early representation was that he was an overall similar character to his SSB4 iteration, making the transition even easier. At the same time, however, this meant that methods on how to fight Yoshi didn't change either. Thus in the competitive scene, despite having the tournament popularity of a top-tier character, he was generally seen as a mid- to high-tier by most players.
In today's competitive scene, Yoshi remains very popular, mostly because of his ease of use. He has begun to fall off in the current meta as perceived higher tiers like Palutena are further optimized, but given his playstyle, he is one of the most popular characters to use below the top level. Even so, top Yoshis such as Suarez still get results at top levels of play, leading a continued advancement of Yoshi's metagame even as the character's initial hype has begun to cool off.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Jurassic Journey
Yoshi's adversaries consist of playable reptiles, some of which resemble dinosaurs. His boss, Rathalos, also fits with the theme due to it being a classical draconic wyvern.
Note: With the exceptions of Rounds 1 and 6, a song from the Yoshi universe is played regardless of the stage.
Character unlock tree
Yoshi's Classic Mode character unlock tree includes the following characters in order:
Each character can be unlocked by clearing Yoshi's Classic Mode, or the Classic Mode of any preceding character, if all preceding characters have been unlocked. Once all the above characters are unlocked, clearing Classic Mode with any of them will default to Mario's character unlock tree, starting with Sonic.
Role in World of Light
Although Yoshi does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
He can be found in a ribbon pathway to be awakened, which can be accessed in short time after taking Sheik's route.
Yoshi's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Yoshi in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Yoshi makes an appearance in various Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video