Marth (マルス, Marusu) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His return to the series was announced on the Smash Bros. DOJO on February 5th, 2008.
He is ranked 5th on the current Brawl tier list due to his excellent overall disjointed range and speed in both frame data, good mobility, power when he lands an attack on the tip of his sword (in particular his forward smash and down aerial), edgeguard ability, stats, and match-ups (only Meta Knight, King Dedede and Diddy Kong are disadvantageous match-ups, where they only hold a small advantage). Marth is regarded by some as the best character in Brawl with Meta Knight banned. However, as in Melee, he maintains a lack of a projectile and mediocre horizontal recovery. His advantages, however, largely compensate for this.
How to Unlock
- Play 10 vs. matches.
- Finish Classic mode on any difficulty.
- Get Marth to join the party in The Subspace Emissary.
With the exception the third method, Marth must be fought and defeated on Castle Siege
Marth retains status as a quick-footed, tall (for his weight class), high-range midweight with strong aerial attacks. He has a great aerial moveset and air defense. He retains certain qualities, such as increased power and hitlag at the tip of his blade, which defines a great part of his game. This tip is the basis for Marth's potent down air meteor smash and for his down tilt edge guard. His attacks, when not tipped, are weak, and hitting with the sweetspot can be difficult (although some attacks are rather easy to sweetspot like Up air and Down tilt). Most of Marth's attacks have little starting lag and good reach, but his attacks can be easily punished when shielded due to often having noticeable ending lag (though his standard special has Shield damage).
Marth himself lacks a projectile, but his high mobility allows him to avoid opponents' projectiles. Dolphin Slash allows Marth to escape from most chain throws due to the invincibility frames it provides, and it can even KO if the opponent is at very high percentages. However, it is easily punished should it miss or be shielded. As a recovery move, it travels fair vertical distance with almost no start-up, but poor horizontal distance, and it is easily edge hogged if timed properly, while the landing lag is high so landing onstage is also punishable. He also suffers from the Landing lag glitch, although it is not a major problem. Dancing Blade does high damage and counts as four attacks in the refresh counter, making it great to refresh his other moves as well as inflict high damage on the opponent, and the last hit tilted upwards can KO at higher percents. It can be directed in a direction through use of the analog stick or up-down-side button. As such, Marth is arguably one of the characters least effected by Stale-Move Negation and it is also a good out-of-shield option as it has almost no start-up lag. Marth's Counter, the fastest counter in the game, can be used to punish opponent attacks and interrupt combos.
Marth has good standing grab reach and a very long reaching pivot grab which is combined with the fact that he can chain grab a number of characters using his forward throw (if only for a couple of throws). He also has a grab release infinite on Lucas and Ness, a chain grab-release to spike (or slight step Fsmash) on Squirtle, and grab release to spike, Fair, dash attack or Up B on Meta Knight (although it is still considered a hard matchup for Marth). On the downside, his throws are weak in terms of damage and knockback (usually doing only 4% per throw, with the exception of his down throw, which does 5%. His u-throw is the only throw that KOs in Sudden Death), although the weak knockback of his throws also means they are great for following up with a different attack.
Overall, Marth is a very fast character with good disjointed reach, along with great offensive and defensive options who has potential power, and what could be considered one of the best aerial games. But Marth is rather easily KOd due to being tall and being the lightest middleweight, which also means he is still vulnerable to King Dedede's D-Throw chain throw. Marth also has difficulty KOing the heavier characters, especially those with good Momentum Canceling, due to his tipped attacks having high base knockback but low knockback scaling. Against these characters, he often relies on edgeguarding to gain KOs.
Changes from Melee
It is difficult to tell whether Marth has been buffed or nerfed from Melee to Brawl since he received both buffs and nerfs. His ground movement is less effective due to a weaker dash dance and the removal of wavedashing. Marth's grab range is reduced, and his combo potential was toned down slightly due to Brawl's more defensive game. Despite this, his range and combo game is still relatively strong when compared to the rest of the cast, and his recovery has notably improved.
In terms of cosmetics, Marth's design is much more detailed than in Melee. Many of his attacks received new animations, such as Shield Breaker and Dancing Blade, that better fit with his fast and graceful fighting style.
- Walks and dashes slower
- Higher air speed
- Lower falling speed
- Lower traction
- Jumps takes longer to perform and are slower
- Spot dodges and rolls provide more invincibility frames
- Air dodge has more startup.
- First hit of Neutral Attack has less range and transitions slower into the second hit, but second hit has more knockback growth.
- Dash Attack has a slower startup and sourspot deals less damage, but sweetspot has more base knockback and sends opponents at a horizontal angle.
- Forward Tilt has less reach and sweetspot deals less damage.
- Sweetspotted Up Tilt deals less damage and knockback, and has smaller hitboxes.
- Down Tilt has larger hitboxes, increased range, and can trip opponents.
- Forward Smash has less reach and sweetspot deals less damage.
- Up Smash has less startup and end lag, has larger hitboxes, and body sourspot launches opponents into sword sourspot, increasing its damage, but when tipped it deals less knockback.
- Down Smash has more startup, and hitboxes deal less knockback, but deals more damage and hits come out much faster.
- All Aerials have less landing lag.
- Neutral Aerial has less end lag, increased hits, and more damage. Second hit also has more knockback growth.
- Sourspotted Forward Aerial deals more damage and knockback, but has more startup.
- Back Aerial has longer duration, deals more damage and knockback, and more reach, but more ending lag.
- Up Aerial has longer duration, increased range, and sourspot deals more damage, with sweetspot having more knockback growth.
- Down Aerial has less ending lag, but sweetspotting it is more difficult.
Grabs and Throws
- Grab has less startup and end lag, but range is much lower.
- Pummel deals less damage but is faster.
- Back throw sends opponents at a horizontal angle.
- Up throw has less knockback growth.
- Shield Breaker has increased horizontal reach and gives Marth a horizontal boost in the air, charges faster, and deals more shield damage, but has less vertical reach and more startup, shorter duration, and smaller hitboxes, with fully charged attack dealing less damage.
- Dancing Blade has less startup and hits do not require technical precision to use, making them much easier to link together, though each hit is weaker and cannot stall Marth in the air.
- Dolphin Slash covers more horizontal distance, has larger hitboxes, and grants more intangibility frames, with the clean Dolphin Slash dealing more damage but less knockback.
- Counter deals 1.1x the damage of the countered attack with a minimum of 8%, and has more knockback growth and larger hitboxes.
- Neutral Attack - Swings upward, back and forth. 4% base. 6% tip.
- Dash Attack - A dashing upward diagonal slash with rather slow start-up when compared to Marth's other attacks and it has high ending lag. It does have far reach and good power for a dash attack (though it is still a rather weak attack). Does 10% at the base and 13% when tipped.
- Side Tilt - A quick slash forward that has low start-up but some ending lag. It has good horizontal reach and decent vertical reach. Its knockback is low when it is not tipped, but is capable of KOing (above 150%) when it is tipped. Does 9% at the base and 12% when tipped.
- Up Tilt - Swings his sword in a large arc above his head, front to back. It has good all around reach and like his other ground attacks, it has low start-up but noticeable ending lag. It has an untipped and tipped hitbox but produces different hitboxes throughout its animation, resulting in varying degrees of knockback. Though it has strong enough knockback to KO under 150% regardless of where it connects. The strongest hitbox is the tipped hitbox at the end of the animation. It has an similar animation as the first hit of his neutral attack. The only difference is that his up tilt has a bit more visual range. Does 9% at the base and 12% when tipped.
- Down Tilt - A quick crouching sword poke, with almost no start-up lag and unlike Marth's other attacks, it has low ending lag. It works well for ground edge guarding because it semi-spikes, has fast start-up, good horizontal reach combined with low vertical reach, and usually it makes the opponent waste their mid-air jump while Marth can then set up a fair WoP. It can also be used to Pseudo Crawl. Does 9% at the base and 10% when tipped.
- Side Smash - Rotates body counter-clockwise with a strong arc-like swing from his head to the ground. Very fast start-up, good horizontal and vertical reach, but has noticeable ending lag. The tip can KO light characters and at closer distances to the blast lines at low percents (under 75%) due its very high base knockback (third highest in the game for an uncharged forward smash) but has low knockback scaling for a forward smash (ninth lowest in the game) though it is still rather high. As such, heavier characters can survive a tipped forward smash above 100% if they're not near the edge. Works well for punishing air dodges into the ground with its good air to ground coverage. Although the tip has more shieldstun and pushback, it is actually less safe on shields because the hitlag increases the ending lag. Does 14-19% at the base and 20%-27% when tipped.
- Up Smash - A powerful upward thrust. There is a vacuum effect on the ground around Marth that pulls foes upward, usually into the tip. It has three hitboxes that produce different damage but around the same knockback. When Marth hits someone at low percentages with his running up smash, it sends his opponent on a bizarre horizontal trajectory with very high base knockback. This is very effective at setting up edgeguard situations at low percentages, especially since Marth is arguably one of the best edgeguarders in the game. On an interesting note, Marth's up smash only send opponents at low to mid percentages horizontally. Its Slide Smash is very long. Once they approach 70%, it only sends opponents vertically, no matter what part of the move connects. This hitbox also has no knockback scaling. Does 17% uncharged and 23% charged at the base and tip. Does 21% uncharged and 29% charged when hitting an adjacent opponent, and 18% uncharged and 25% charged to foes on ground.
- Down Smash - Sweeps his sword on the ground towards front then towards back. It is one of the fastest smashes in the game, start-up lag wise, but it has punishable ending lag. One of the strongest down smashes when tipped, but it can also KO at high percentages untipped. At the front, it does 14% at the base and 17% when tipped. At the back, it does 13% at the base and 16% when tipped.
- Ledge Attack - Flips onto ledge with a quick downward diagonal slash from left to right. 6% base. 8% tip.
- 100% Ledge Attack - Quick, low, horizontal slash with medium lag. Less reach than normal ledge attack. 10% base and tip.
- Floor Attack (Face up) - Quick stab to the left followed by horizontal slash to the right. 6% base and tip.
- Floor Attack (Face down) - Sweeps the tip of his sword on the ground front to back. Less reach than floor attack from back. 6% base and tip.
- Neutral Aerial - Two horizontal slashes around himself. Both hits connect easily on an airborne opponent. It has almost no start-up and low ending lag as well. The tip of the second strike has rather high knockback and can KO at high percentages. Can be used after a connected fair for edgeguarding. Does 14% when both hits connect but aren't tipped. Does 18% when both hits connect and are tipped.
- Forward Aerial - Forward vertical slash (up to down). Although it has fairly low knockback when not tipped, it is very fast in both start-up and ending lag, many characters can't punish it when spaced properly even when shielded, and because of the long disjointed range, some characters have a very difficult time dealing with it. Can easily be done twice in a short hop and is useful for edgeguarding as a Wall of Pain. It also has KO power when tipped (though it doesn't reliably KO under 150%). It is considered Marth's best aerial and is arguably the best fair in the game, if not the most versatile. Does 10% at the base and 13% when tipped.
- Back Aerial - Bottom to top sword slash behind him. This is the only back aerial that turns around the character. It has very low start-up but it has more ending lag than his fair. When it is tipped, it is Marth's strongest aerial, reliably KOing anyone around 150%. Does 11% at the base and 14% at the tip.
- Up Aerial - A forward to back upward sword slash. Hit from close is as powerful as the tip, being a reliable vertical finisher but from medium distance it is quite weak. Similar to his bair in frame data but weaker. Does 11% at the base, 14% when tipped.
- Down Aerial - A forward to back downward sword slash. When tipped, it is a meteor smash with high base knockback. Very low start-up, it is in fact the fastest meteor smash in the game. It is a risky edge guarder however, as it has very high ending and landing lag. The end of the swing is slightly easier to tip with, so it works well with RAR. Does 12% at the base and 14% when tipped.
Grabs & Throws
- Range - Marth has a higher than average reach in his standing grab (sixth highest in non-tether grabs) and his pivot grab has even better reach. However, his dash grab is very poor.
- Pummel - Repeatedly knees the opponent. One of the faster pummels. Does 2%.
- Forward Throw - Grabs and pushes forward, tripping with the leg. Great for tech-chasing and can chain throw heavy/fast falling characters at 0% for up to usually four throws maximum and set-up a guaranteed Fsmash at 0% on most characters, on some characters it can hit with the tipper for more damage. Can also be used to set-up a fair combo. Does 4%.
- Down Throw - Hooks arm and drags to the floor sending the opponent backwards. Set ups tipper forward smash at low percentages. Otherwise it has extremely low knockback with no KO power at all and is poor for setting up due to high ending lag. Does 5%, being Marth's most damaging throw.
- Back Throw - Pulls and extends leg simultaneously. Similar to down throw, but even weaker knockback wise.
- Up Throw - Powerful upward throw with one arm. This is Marth's only powerful throw and it can KO lighter characters around 180% and it is also his only throw that kills during Sudden Death. Otherwise, there is not much use for it. Does 4%.
- Up: Points his sword in the air, where it shines. Similar to his stance before performing a critical hit in Fire Emblem.
- Side: Slashes his sword twice in front of himself, then sheathes it.
- Down: Twirls his sword, then raises it in front of him saying "みんな、見ていてくれ！" "Minna, miteite kure!" which is Japanese for "Everyone, please watch me!" (same as in Melee).
- Turns with pride, spins his sword then points it to the ground, while speaking "Konkai wa boku no kachi da ne!"「今回は僕の勝ちだね。」 - "I've won this time!"
- Sheaths his sword while saying "Kyou mo ikinobiru koto ga dekita"「今日も生き延びることが出来た。」 - "I have survived today."
- Stretches out right arm, while saying "Boku wa makeru wake-ni wa ikanainda!"「僕は負けるわけにはいかないんだ！」 - "There's no way I can lose!"
- Marth uses a Warp Staff to get warped on onto the stage.
- Brushes hair out of his face.
- Puts his hand over his heart and takes a deep breath.
|Marth's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||Shield Breaker|
|Side Special||Dancing Blade|
|Up Special||Dolphin Slash|
|Final Smash||—||Critical Hit|
[pictures above, click 'show']
- Neutral Special Move - A chargeable move that can be executed in midair or on the ground. As he charges it up, he pulls back his sword and turns blue until he launches forward slightly with a powerful stab. If executed at full power in midair, Marth can glide forward in the air. This is similar to Ike's move, but isn't an area attack and doesn't charge for nearly as long.
- Side Special Move - This technique is a sequence of up to four individual slices with Marth's sword. If the player presses the special button too quickly, Marth may not respond. It is best to use this move in a steady beat. You can change the color and direction of the second, third, and last slices by holding to the left or right and diagonally up or down. When sideways, Marth creates a red streak with his sword and simply slices down but forces players away from him. The last slice is much powerful than the others, and sends another player flying to the side. When diagonally sideways and up, Marth creates a blue streak and slices players up a little. The last slice is still very powerful and will send players flying up. When diagonally sideways and down, Marth creates a green streak and slices players sideways. With the last slice, Marth will make several green strikes near the ground within the time frame of about a second and sends a player flying sideways. These moves are interchangeable, meaning you can combine separate diagonal/horizontal moves. For instance, you can swipe to the left once, then up to the left, then straight to the left, then finish down to the left. This is not the only combination.
- Up Special Move - Marth very quickly swipes his sword upwards, creating a giant blue streak. Anyone touching the streak will be sent flying. This is a little bit like Luigi's up special move in that it is more powerful when an opponent is closer to the origin of execution, but not much difference is made.
- Down Special Move - The exact same as Ike's. Marth makes a defensive stance, blinks light a little, and anything that deals damage will be countered with a furious slice if such an entity deals damage to Marth. Marth is vulnerable while in the stance but not blinking. Marth can change direction (unlike Peach's neutral special move) if hit.
- Final Smash - "Critical Hit" - Marth swings his sword for a second, points it in the air, then launches forward at incredible speed and the first person he comes to will be launched out immediately. Anyone near the hit player will be launched as well. This move is much like Zelda/Sheik's Light Arrow. A small health bar-looking meter will display next to any hit player. Yellow ticks will be replaced with white ones in the box. This move can be executed in midair or on the ground. Keep in mind that Marth may fly off the stage if he executes this move if he misses while in the air. Any player can dodge this move.
In competitive play
Role in the Subspace Emissary
Two R.O.B.s activate a Subspace Bomb in a barren battlefield. Marth is seen atop his castle watching helplessly as the robots detonate the bomb. He stands and shines Falchion, prepared to fend off the hundreds of Primids advancing toward the castle. Marth confronts the Primids, descending through the building until he reaches the grounds. There he is ambushed by Meta Knight. Before they could fight, they are attacked from behind by a large group of Primids, at which point they simultaneously jump into the air, slicing the Primids in two with their swords. Realizing that they share a common enemy, they join forces to fight off the Primids. After fighting against the Primids, both Meta Knight and Marth aim their attacks at the Ancient Minister, who is carrying another Subspace Bomb. Marth misses with Dolphin Slash, while Meta Knight gets shot in the wing by the Ancient Minister, with his wing caught on fire in the process. Luckily Ike shows up and dismantles the Ancient Minister's Subspace Bomb with his trusted Aether move. With the Subspace Bomb destroyed, the trio storm the castle once more.
In the desert, they see a vehicle driving off in the distance. Ike immediately jumps off the cliff to pursue it, followed by Meta Knight. Marth merely scratches the back of his head in disbelief before following them. When they find the vehicle, it transforms into Galleom, and the three fight it. The defeated Galleom falls through unstable ground, where it encounters Lucas and Pokémon Trainer in the Ruined Hall. Now severely weakened after being fought again, it grabs Lucas and the Trainer in an attempt to detonate an emergency Subspace Bomb, but Lucas manages to free himself and Pokémon Trainer from Galleom using PK Thunder, commencing a headfirst freefall. Meta Knight catches Lucas and the unconscious Trainer right before they hit the ground and meets them up with Marth and Ike. When the Halberd crashes the Great Fox into a mountain, Marth is unable to catchup with Meta Knight, who is climbing the mountain. Later, the Ice Climbers fall down and befriend Marth, Ike, Lucas, and Pokémon Trainer, only to be rained on by Shadow Bugs from the Halberd above. Mario, Pit, Kirby, Link and Yoshi come to aid them in fighting off the Primids that were dropped. After the battle, the Halberd (now under control of Meta Knight, Snake, Lucario, Zelda, Peach, Fox, Mr. Game & Watch, and Falco) and the Falcon Flyer land to pick them up.
Marth and friends destroy the Subspace Gunship (though the Halberd was downed in the process). They enter Subspace and encounter Tabuu, who turns them all into trophies. Fortunately he, and some of the others, are revived by King Dedede, Luigi, and Ness, while the rest are revived by Kirby. Marth helps the heroes in the showdown against Tabuu.
The following stickers can only be used by Marth or Ike:
- Ninian: [Arm, Leg] Attack + 6
- Lilina: [Leg] Attack + 5
- Mist: [Slash] Attack + 8
- Deke: [Slash] Attack + 9
- Eirika: [Slash] Attack +17
- Ike (Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn): [Slash] Attack +27
- Rutoga: [Slash] Resistance +12
- Ashnard: [Slash] Resistance +34
- Shiida: [Specials: Direct] Attack + 7
- Greil: [Throwing] Attack +14
- Marth: [Weapon] Attack +19
- Micaiah: [Weapon] Attack +21
- Ike:(Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance) [Weapon] Attack +23
- Eliwood: Flame Resistance +33
- Marth is the only character without an updated voice for Brawl, instead using the same voice clips from Melee.
- Marth uses his sword in all of his attacks except his pummels and throws.
- Marth was the highest rated character in the Prima Official Game Guide for Brawl, receiving a 9/10.
- Marth's alternate blue color scheme bears resemblance to his classic coloration from the first Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi. The reason behind the brighter colors is the NES had a 64-color YPBPR Picture Processing Unit, so colors were limited.
- Marth speaks only Japanese in all versions of Super Smash Bros Brawl. This did not change in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, even though Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon has been released in the Americas and Europe.
- Marth's sword does not glow or leave a trail whenever he uses a forward smash while holding a battering item.
- Marth's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!.
- Marth Character Guide at SWF
- Marth's hitbox size of each of his moves
- Marth's Moves - History Behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl, by CrappyCaptureDevice