If you’re looking for Mario, you’ve got the wrong character! Kind of. Between Mario and Dr. Mario, the doctor is considered the stronger fighter. He’s got stronger moves, stronger moves, and stronger moves, too, which adds up to a big advantage! Even though the two characters are similar, their training strategies are different, so make sure you’ve got the right Mario before you continue! If you want to train regular Mario instead, have a look at our guide here. Otherwise, let’s get started!
Dr. Mario is low-key a high-tier with a few important weaknesses that hold him back from true greatness. But let’s talk about what he does well first! He’s a mediumweight fighter, but he hits like a heavyweight, because his attacks are super powerful. His forward smash is one of the strongest of its kind, which lets Dr. Mario score quick and consistent KOs. He’s also got respectable hard-coded combos stemming from his throws and down tilt, allowing him to rack up even more damage when needed. All in all, Dr. Mario is essentially a straight upgrade of Mario. That’s not the case in competitive play (humans versus humans), but it certainly is the case in the context of amiibo training!
Despite jumping kind of being Mario’s whole thing, Dr. Mario suffers from an atrociously poor recovery. All he’s got are Dr. Tornado and Super Jump Punch, which don’t cover much distance (especially the latter) and leave him vulnerable to attack. Dr. Mario is also really slow; his general movement speed is among the lowest in the game, making it difficult for him to keep up with faster characters. Lastly, Dr. Mario’s AI occasionally uses its Dr. Tornado at the edge, but then drifts too far off-stage and can’t recover back.
Overall, though, Dr. Mario’s tournament results and representation have been great! He’s completely eclipsed his red-clad counterpart, Mario, and is universally considered the better character. If you’d like to read more about Dr. Mario, you can find his wiki page here. If you’d like to read more on regular Mario, you can do that here.
Do you want to equip your Dr. Mario amiibo with Spirits? If so, you’re in luck, because this just so happens to be the Spirits section! We say this in every guide, but try your best to have your FP inherit its Spirit stats and effects at Level 1. When a Spirit is inherited, an FP’s training data is changed. So if you train your amiibo to Level 50 and then feed it a Spirit, it’s going to act different all of a sudden!
Even though he isn’t a heavyweight, Dr. Mario would benefit from Super Armor! It would allow him to more freely throw out powerful attacks without fear of being intercepted. Armor Knight works too, and can be paired with Move Speed ↑ or Trade-Off Ability ↑ to great effect!
Some other options you can try are Physical Attack ↑, Trade-Off Ability ↑, and Foot Attack ↑. If you want, you could forgo Foot Attack ↑ in favor of Fist Attack ↑ or Air Defense ↑. Up to you! For stats, your run-of-the-mill average build (2100 / 2100) works just fine on Dr. Mario.
Even though Mario and Dr. Mario are similar, they’re actually different enough that we have to clarify this: fight your FP as Dr. Mario, not regular Mario. Set up a timed ruleset (I prefer five-minute matches) and play on Ω-form stages. Stage hazards are hard-coded into amiibo AI, so we want to focus on raw gameplay instead. Be sure to check out our general amiibo training guide if you get the chance, too!
First, let’s talk movement. Dr. Mario’s pretty slow, but we’re going to want to walk when training him anyway. This’ll help the FP react to incoming attacks more quickly. So, just to be clear: no running! Just walk around and let Dr. Mario’s passive-aggressive walking animation play out in full. Now, when you get close to your amiibo, you can start attacking. You can rack up damage and KO with forward smash, so be sure to do that whenever you can. Forward tilt comes out faster, but doesn’t deal as much damage. It should be used often anyway, though! If your FP is in the air above you, catch its landing with an up smash. This can KO too! Down smash is another option that comes out fast and hits the hardest when the back hit connects. Prioritize the other moves in this paragraph over down smash, though.
Grabs are definitely worth using with Dr. Mario. His back throw is a reliable kill throw, so be sure to KO your FP with it at higher percentages. Up throw and down throw can both combo into an up air for free damage. After using a down throw, Dr. Mario’s AI is hard-coded to combo it into a down air, forward air, up air, Super Jump Punch, or Dr. Tornado. If you’re thinking of teaching it any of these combos, they’re all possible! The AI will know all of its follow-ups at Level 50 regardless if you taught them or not, so just focus on getting your Dr. Mario amiibo to grab a lot.
The AI also knows to combo its down tilt into an up air, back air, down air, or Super Jump Punch. Definitely don’t focus on down tilt, but use it every once in a while and combo it into one of the moves mentioned above for some extra damage. Dr. Mario’s Megavitamins are solid projectiles, so use one from a distance to build up damage. As you might expect, the AI knows that a Megavitamin can combo into a grab. Don’t worry about teaching it to capitalize on its pills! And while you should stay almost exclusively grounded during training (to use forward smash, forward tilt, up smash, grabs, and down tilt), you can throw in an occasional back or up air for good measure.
Just a few more tips here! Dr. Mario’s got a super strong down air spike, but his recovery is atrocious, so it’s a huge risk. It’s safest to stay on-stage, but if you do decide to go for the meteor smash, don’t go too far out. Use down air as close to the ledge as possible without being above it. Try to avoid using on-stage Dr. Tornado attacks, too, as the AI sometimes jumps the gun and slides off-stage and to its death.
Thanks so much for reading! Dr. Mario’s really good when trained just right, so we hope this guide can help you start yours off strong! If you have any questions during training, or want to test your Dr. Mario in a Battle Arena, feel free to join our Discord server. We’ll be happy to have you! And thanks again to fammydamammy for contributing all of Dr. Mario’s guide information. It was a big help, so make sure to check out their Twitter account if you get the chance!
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