by Sir Ffuzzylogik, Guest Contributor
Hello! I’m Sir Ffuzzylogik and I own one of the most recognizable Dr. Marios in the scene, Alfyn. I may no longer claim the title of one of/the best Dr. Mario but I am one of two trainers to have won a standard tournament with the character, and have dumped about twenty bins into labbing.
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Dr. Mario has one primary AI issue, if you don’t train Down Special carefully he can SD with it and just die, due to poor recovery. Other than that he is a very workable AI, and can even function without Down Special entirely.
From what I have labbed, Dr. Mario has 3 primary playstyles which I have named “Pill Style,” “Standard Style,” And “Alfyn Style.” Below I will delve deeper into these playstyles. All of these playstyles are viable, and will be listed below in what I believe is least to most viable.
Alfyn Style: I believe this style is the least viable of styles that have seen success, despite it being what Alfyn primarily uses and what he used to win a tournament. This style goes very aggressive offstage and focuses primarily on throwing amiibo offstage and killing via dunking. Due to Dr. Mario’s abysmal recovery, this can be very volatile but can cause quick victories and exciting games.
Pill Style: This style focuses on heavy usage of pill, causing a more passive playstyle. Pill Doc can really bother and annoy certain amiibo, mostly things without range, but struggles against amiibo with better ranged options. However this style is still very viable as it is a modification of…
Standard Style: I believe this is the best style for training Dr Mario. In this style you stay primarily onstage and focus on Fsmash, Ftilt, and D-throw combos. This style may or may not include B-throw kills, and is generally very grounded and relies on Fsmash’s nuts kill power to secure surprise early kills. This is the style my current bin of Alfyn uses.
How To Train Dr. Mario
First thing you’re going to want to do is set up the ruleset you are using to train. My preferred is untimed, 10 stock, First to Five Wins, FD only. Second, decide the style you would like to train, as this is important from level 1. One other thing to note is for all these styles; when recovering make sure you down special before jumping offstage. This maximizes the Doc’s recovery distance and can be taught by just doing it.
To train an Alfyn Style Doc, you want to start with game 1 using only onstage moves like Fsmash, Ftilt, Fthrow, and Bthrow. Dsmash may also be used, and use Up Smash to keep the amiibo above you if he recovers high. Starting Game 2 onward you will want to do two new things; Chase offstage for dair and throw to up air chains. Dthrow Dair can also be taught as a decent damage racking option onstage, but he may get spammy with that one. Keep an eye on your doc as you’re training, and if he’s too passive or rolling around and never attacking, my solution is to hop into King of Fighters Stadium and let him wail on you. This applies for all versions of Doc. You should only need one ftfw (First to five wins) and can turn learning off to level the rest of the way
To train a Pill Style Doc you’re going to want to proceed as detailed above for g1 except add a heck of a lot more pill. If you’re ever at range, pill. If he’s ever offstage, pill. You won’t mix this up much between each game besides down throw combos. I didn’t mention down throw to down special earlier due to the risk of Doc potentially SDing using down special offstage, but onstage this is a phenomenal early kill option alongside Fsmash.
And probably the simplest, to train Standard Style doc you’re just training Pill Style but without Pills and with more aggression. To edge guard on standard style, look for downward angled Fsmash and dair very VERY close to the stage. Never venture far as that puts Doc at risk of being knocked out of the air. With this style I wouldn’t recommend Dsmash due to the fact that Fsmash can be used in every situation and has more reward, however use up smash to juggle and Dthrow-up air to get some extra damage here and there.
Why These Styles Work
Dr. Mario has an immensely difficult time making it back to the stage or dealing with otherwise being hit. Most of his moves are fairly slow, but each style will amend this in a different way. Alfyn Style keeps aggression going and ideally will never give the opponent an advantageous position, Pill Style will prevent approaches allowing Doc to keep from being knocked around, and Standard Style just keeps Doc very grounded and with Fsmash’s surprising knockback can kill them before they even get the chance to get you off the stage.
I believe Standard Style works best as it gives opponents the fewest windows to beat up doc and exploit his bad recovery while he maintains a grounded position where he can use his strongest options to play keep-away.
Addendum: Ever since we switched over to 8.0, a new Dr. Mario has appeared as a very dominant threat: Fammydamammy’s Dr. Hart. Fammy has aided me in doing a really sublime amount of testing and theory crafting for the 8.0 patch and has discovered many new training techniques.
These techniques include:
Down tilt combos! A staple of Dr. Marios past which was lost when the launch angle was changed. Down tilt combos into reverse bair. up air, dair, and up special! These are usable as a quicker (more frequent) Replacement to down throw in all styles above, but for the best results you want a more grounded style. Specifically reverse bair is an incredible new kill option for the doc and is all but essential!
Dr. Mario is a powerful amiibo that can manage to make some crazy upsets in tournaments and deserves more love and rep that he is currently getting. His versatile options and playstyles allow every doc to be a surprise, as you never know what he’s going to do next, allowing for a fun yet strong amiibo that’s sure to net you some success with enough love.