Amiibo Training Guide: Dr. Mario (SSB4)

In the 1990 Dr. Mario game, Mario threw on a white coat and decided to take a shot at that whole “medicine” thing. Dr. Mario destroys killer viruses with his amazing vitamin capsules and spends day and night in his laboratory working on new miracle cures. Somehow he’s managed to keep up with all the new viruses that have arisen over the years.

Section 1: Character Overview

Appearances aside, Dr. Mario isn’t much different from Mario. He’s stronger and slower, but his AI is just the same. Dr. Mario’s tilts all come out very quick; as well as being fast, his forward tilt can be angled and deals decent damage. Up tilt and down tilt are generally less useful due to their limited range, but with proper spacing, can link into additional attacks. Dr. Mario’s smash attacks are just as useful – forward smash, while lacking in range, is incredibly powerful, and its sweetspot can KO opponents as early as 95% when angled upwards. Up smash is a great aerial punish that renders Dr. Mario’s head invincible throughout its duration. Down smash is quick and very difficult to block, and is quite powerful alongside its high speed. Dr. Mario can also gimp opponents by shooting Megavitamins off the edge – this means that he has a slight advantage against Ness and Lucas, whose recoveries can be repeatedly disrupted with the attack. He can also use his Cape to gimp enemies who recover high.

Dr. Mario has plenty of strengths, but just as many weaknesses holding him back. His AI is a bit strange – he has a tendency to jump into the air specifically to use his side special, Super Sheet, even if there aren’t any projectiles coming his way. This “strategy” doesn’t accomplish much of anything and gives his opponent a chance to land a free attack. He also tends to overuse his down smash; this becomes predictable very quickly. Dr. Mario’s recovery also isn’t so good – the amiibo doesn’t use his down special, Dr. Tornado, to recover; somehow, amiibo think that using a down special in midair will send them downwards. That leaves his up special, which grants poor horizontal and vertical distance. Finally, Dr. Mario’s attacks lack range, and his amiibo will often whiff them – even in close combat.

The Verdict

Most of Dr. Mario’s flaws are fixable with proper training. As long as you limit his use of problematic attacks, you’ll have a powerful contender on your hands. At his full potential, Dr. Mario has the ability to clash with the best and become a true tournament champion.

Section 2: Recommended Equipment

Stats & Bonuses

For more information on equipment – including instructions on how to farm for custom parts – please read our amiibo equipment guide.

Most amiibo tournaments allow and encourage equipment. In fact, over ninety percent of competitions do – but if you’d prefer to forgo custom gear and leave your amiibo ‘vanilla’, you can skip this section. Otherwise, you will need to equip your amiibo with a viable setup of stats and bonuses. The following build has been extensively tested and proven effective:

+70 Attack / +40 Defense / +10 Speed


Custom Moves

  • Breezy Sheet: This is a custom move version of Dr. Mario’s side special. Its power is similar to the original’s and also emits a small gust of wind that pushes opponents back. Dr. Mario should not be using his side special at all, so if he tries it anyway, his foes will be pushed too far away to respond with a counterattack.

Once your amiibo’s stats, bonuses, and custom moves are refined and ready to go, your training will officially begin! If you encountered a problem while equipping your amiibo, feel free to join our Discord server to ask for help.

Section 3: Training Your Amiibo

Amiibo training is a very specific task, and for the best possible result, you will need to approach it with caution. You can’t just go all-out using combos and aerials: both are seen as “newbie tactics” by competitive trainers. Instead, you should remain grounded at all times, making sure to punish your amiibo for every aerial attack it uses against you. This is true regardless of whether or not your amiibo was fed equipment.

To help your amiibo properly utilize its moveset, you will mirror match it from Level 1 all the way to Level 50. Playing timed matches on Ω-form stages is highly recommended.

Training Tips (Equipment & Vanilla)

  • Neutral options: jab and forward tilt. When your Dr. Mario hasn’t taken much damage, the moves you use against him should primarily be jab and forward tilt. They’re fast and surprisingly powerful, making them great damage-racking moves. Dr. Mario’s down tilt is another good move to use, as it can link into other grounded attacks. But since each opponent takes a different amount of knockback due to their weight and potential defense investment, down tilt is not a consistently reliable option.
  • Main KO moves: forward smash and up smash. Dr. Mario’s forward smash is incredibly powerful, but only if you can land the sweetspot. When using this move, try to connect with Dr. Mario’s arm – that’s where it’ll do the most damage. If only the spark of electricity hits, it won’t be as strong. Forward smash can also be angled. An upward-angled forward smash is strong but has an awkward hitbox, which makes it tough to land. Dr. Mario’s up smash should be used against aerial opponents. It’s quick, strong, and gives enemies very little time to strike back if the attack misses.
  • Moves to avoid: down smash, side special, and down special. Dr. Mario loves to overuse his down smash. The range on this move is particularly poor, so it often whiffs. His AI also uses its Super Sheet enough as-is, without being taught to. You shouldn’t use it at all, not even for reflecting. Your amiibo also won’t learn to use Dr. Tornado as a recovery move – instead, he’ll use it as an on-stage attack, which usually isn’t very effective. Try your best not to avoid using or getting hit by any of these attacks during training.
  • Situational moves: Megavitamins. If your amiibo is knocked off-stage, don’t follow him. Stand at the edge and shoot Megavitamins. This may seem counter-productive, but remember, amiibo will never go off-stage to intercept their opponent’s recovery.

Training Tips (Vanilla-Only)

  • If you did not feed your amiibo equipment, it’s a good idea to teach it to grab, pummel, and throw its opponents. When grabbing your amiibo, throw it towards the nearest edge. This means you will only need to use forward and back throws. In the equipment metagame, Improved escapability renders most grabs and throws useless. Without the presence of this bonus, your amiibo is free to use its grab as often as it pleases.
  • Utilize back throw as a secondary KO move. It’s not as powerful as Mario’s version of the move, but it packs a punch nonetheless. It’s best used at the edge of the stage.

When your amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its training will truly begin. Just like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters. For more information on training your amiibo past Level 50, follow this link.

Section 4: Conclusion & Credits

File:SSB4-Wii U Congratulations Classic Dr Mario.png

Thank you so much for reading! Although the guide may be coming to an end, your training most certainly isn’t: there’s always a way to make an amiibo stronger, and yours is no exception. If you need additional help, check out the Amiibo Mechanics & Metagame Guide. If you want to ask specific questions, you can also stop by our Discord server.

If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been entirely fulfilled, there are more posts here that you might like. Amiibo Training Analysis analyzes a specific aspect of the metagame in great detail. Meanwhile, the official amiibo tier list ranks each amiibo’s potential. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head back to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!

Thanks to Blue for compiling Dr. Mario’s information. Images are courtesy of SmashWiki and the official Super Smash Bros. website.

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