Yoshi can be considered Mario's pet and one of his best friends. However, when it comes to Super Smash Bros., Yoshi and Mario are enemies unless they're playing teams or doubles. Unfortunately, Yoshi is far more difficult to be successful with in Smash Bros. compared to Mario and other characters. He was mid-tier in the original Smash, but fell to what most consider low tier in the two games that followed. He's looking much better in the new Wii U and 3DS Smash games, but only time will tell if he's improved.

Super Smash Bros. 64

Yoshi has a lot going for him in the first Smash Bros. His shield lasts slightly longer than most shields and cannot be shield stabbed, and he has an abundance of high-level abilities such as Double Jump Canceling and Counters. He also has two spikes, Forward Aerial and Down Aerial, with the latter being the single most damaging attack in the game when used with proper timing (hitting for up to 56 percent damage).

With all of this going for Yoshi, one has to wonder why he's only mid-tier. The big issue with Yoshi is that he has a steep learning curve. He has a good double jump but no third jump, which makes him easy to edgeguard. In addition, he lacks any singular attack that can trump other players. You have to play Yoshi with a lot of insight, reading your opponent's actions before they're made to gain the upper hand. He's an unconventional character that can be hard for many to grasp, but in the right hands he’s hard to deal with. That said, he has difficult match-ups against the best characters in the game, Pikachu, Kirby and Fox.



Super Smash Bros. Melee


Super Smash Bros. Melee

Not much changed for Yoshi between Smash 64 and Smash Melee. He retains his high learning curve, and while his Forward Aerial and Down Aerial are still very powerful, they lost a small amount of damage potential, weakening him slightly. He did gain a new side special move in the Egg Roll, which works moderately well as a horizontal recovery option. However, he still lacks a proper recovery move, which hurts him considerably when trying to prevent edgeguarding.

In the transition from 64 to Melee, Yoshi gained a new Back Aerial, but his Forward Aerial is now slower. It didn't help that his advanced Double Jump Cancels are also slower. Essentially, Yoshi was already average at best and difficult to learn. With the switch to Melee, Yoshi's advanced techniques became a bit less effective, and the addition of the Egg Roll wasn't enough to compensate so he moved down on the tier list slightly.



Super Smash Bros. Brawl


Super Smash Bros. Brawl

The changes that were made to Yoshi from Melee to Brawl are interesting. He received a number of buffs, but also a near-equal amount of nerfs. He lost some of the power of his Aerials, but overall they're improved. Meanwhile, he gained a bit of power in his Smash Attacks, but overall they're weaker. He also lost the ability to Double Jump Cancel, but in the end that helped him considerably.

One of the biggest buffs Yoshi received in Brawl was the ability to use the Egg Toss as a recovery option, as well as the classification of his second jump as a recovery move. These two changes gave Yoshi a huge boost to his recovery options. It's now impossible to attack Yoshi from above or to his side while he's recovering. His Up Aerial can be used during his second jump, which has super armor and outstanding priority. It's extremely difficult to beat that attack while Yoshi is recovering. However, all of Yoshi's other weaknesses are still very much present, which is why he didn't really move up or down on the tier list.



Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS


Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS

Yoshi saw quite a few improvements in the time we've spent with the character in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game. First and foremost, his shielding ability is now on par with the rest of the cast. What that means is he can attack and jump out of his shield at the same speed as everyone else. In the previous games this was not possible and it had a big impact on Yoshi's success in the game. His Up Smash is also more powerful, but we’ve yet to confirm if it retains the other attributes that made it so good.

The Egg Roll is considerably faster and more maneuverable now, and enemies stay in the egg longer after getting hit by his Egg Lay special move. A few of his normal attacks were slightly improved, although it's difficult to determine how much of an impact this slight buff will have. Finally, his dash attack improved and now has more knockback and damage potential.

Overall, Yoshi feels improved, but it's still a bit too early to tell. We’ll know for sure when Super Smash Bros. debuts for 3DS on October 3.