Wolf is a great all-around character, but it doesn't quite blow other characters out of the stage with as much power as other fighters. At the same time, his failings are few and far between, but just enough to put him regularly lower in tier lists and rankings than you might expect on the back of his utility. His blaster is a fantastic way to control the neutral stage of fights too. The main worry for wolf players is recovery, as he only has two options. Still, Wolf is often undervalued for just how powerful he can be in the right hands.
How to Unlock Wolf
Like every other non-DLC character, Wolf can be unlocked in one of three ways. Through classic mode, with Wolf being the 7th unlock when playing Fox's line. In the World of Light in the mysterious dimension. Or by playing versus matches, of which he will be the 51st character to be unlocked.
Key Strengths & Weaknesses
Wolf fits in the space left between the other Star Fox Characters. Fox being more of a pressure-based character were as Falco fits in a punishing style of play. Wolf then serves as a versatile mid-close range fighter whose central pivot is his blaster. Wolf players should focus on winning the neutral game quickly. Forward and Down tilt can be especially good in this regard, as their large hitboxes and quick frames help open opponents up for follow-ups. Although his Dashes are not as quick as those found in Fox, Wolf still shows up in the speed department with the help of an above-average ground speed and a top 10 performance when it comes to his mobility in the air.
Wolf's aerial gameplan is also quite solid, relying on a mixture of back and forward aerials, the latter of which can combo into itself and the former can secure KOs once enough damage has been secured. Even with these, Wolf players can face difficult decisions in terms of how to actually achieve victory. Unlike Fox and Falco his side and up spacial lacks the adaptability to be a real option in the heat of battle thanks to their helpless state. Thus, KOs for Wolf more often than not are gathered in the higher percentages of damage. Hunkering down and being able to rack up that damage, however, is a pretty hard achievement for any new player to the character.
The one major flaw in Wolf's kit is his recovery options. Of which there are only two: His side Special, Wolf Flash, and his up Special, Fire Wolf. The aforementioned helpless state after performing them leaves Wolf in a prime position to be edge guarded without much say in the matter. His high falling speed also sets him up to be juggled in combos like Fox and Falco, but unlike them, Wolf's heavier status makes it even harder for him to cleaning escape such moves.
|Neutral Jab||A quick set of three jabs, can jab lock opponents but the last jab might whiff if the opponent is at high percentages.||Low||Low|
|Forward Tilt||A good punishing tool as it extends a fair distance and comes out rather quickly. It can also KO in a pinch.||Medium||Low|
|Up Tilt||Not as useful for combo starting as most other up tilts, still a great edge jump denier and can harras enemies on platforms.||Medium||Low|
|Down Tilt||At low damage, this attack's main usefulness is to trip opponents early on a stock or punish them if you want to mix it in instead of forward tilt.||Low||Low|
|Dash Attack||A great all-around Dash Attack, with decent damage, great reach, and a lot of flexibility to follow up with combos, or as a KO on its own.||Medium||Medium|
|Forward Smash||Wolf's safest KO option, deals a good amount of damage. It has a relatively slow startup, but it more than makes up for it in pure power.||High||Medium|
|Up Smash||A great up smash overall but it lacks KO potential, instead, it ramps up its damage and versatility, as it allows for juggles and is good to consider as an out of shield option.||Medium||Medium|
|Down Smash||Thought of as one of the best down smashes in the game thanks to its great damage, sweet spots, little ending lag, and added soft spike effect if a sweet spot is achieved.||High||Low|
|Neutral Air||Its clean hit damage is very good, and with minor landing lag, it can be used as a transitioning attack as part of a combo. In general one of Wolf's best all-around aerials.||Medium||Low|
|Forward Air||A downward slash that serves as a center point of a lot of Wolf's neutral fights. Its wide vertical angle helps land the hit, though since it does not extend further down, it loses a bit of edge guarding potential.||Medium||Low|
|Back Air||A key KO move for Wolf.||High||Medium|
|Up Air||Good for juggling opponents as it can combo into itself and potentially KO at high percentages.||Medium||Low|
|Down Air||A very long start-up attack, but in truth, who can resist a nice spike?||High||Medium|
|Pummel||Wolf knees his opponent||Low||-|
|Forward Throw||Good for tech chasing opponents, unfortunately not much else due to extremely low knockback and damage.||Low||Low|
|Back Throw||Good overall, but its angle makes it too easy to DI out of danger.||Low||Low|
|Up Throw||Biggest use comes as a combo starter.||Low||Low|
|Down Throw||With some horizontal mobility, this throw can be quite good to chase opponents to continue a combo. but once the higher percentages are reached, it starts to become a higher-risk play.||Low||Low|
|Neutral Special||A blaster, like Fox's and Falco's.||Low||Low|
|Side Special||A quick dash that can deal massive damage on its second hit and even meteor opponents.||High||High|
|Up Special||A powerful flying kick that sends Wolf up into the air, though not generally considered a recovery option.||low||Low|
|Down Special||A reflector.||-||-|
Best Wolf Moves
Wolf's side special is a great tool to deal a lot of damage and potentially KO opponents who are unprepared to face it. It can be part of a combo, for example coming out after forward Air. Although the sweet spot itself can be quite hard to land, even just the flat damage will give the Wolf player an advantage in any further fights. It can also serve as recovery since it can be aimed up and down slightly. The one major setback with the move is the fact it renders him helpless ofr a few seconds, so in a recovery role, the move can actually be a death sentence in a tight match.
This move has great flexibility for any player looking for a strong all-rounder. For one, its knockback can be quite threatening once at high percentages, while also not being so much that players escape combos and juggles easily at lower percentages. Range and damage are also on par with most other characters, giving it the versatility to put pressure on enemy shields and intercept aerial moves. To boot, it can be angled slightly down to catch pledged opponents, though this is a bit riskier.
Ways to Punish
Forward tilt, Down Tilt, Down Smash, and Dash Attacks are all straightforward ways to punish opponents who whiff in their attacks or who simply have high-end lag moves. In general, Wolf has a lot of quick burst punishing moves to catch opponents missing their spacing. You might not have too many ways to bait opponents into doing such mistakes, but you will for certain have ways to exploit them when they appear. If you had to pick, landing good Down Smashes is best, but of course, winning then neutral with simple moves can be far more important.
Wolf Core Combos
- Forward Air into itself.
- Up Throw, Up Air
- Neutral Air close to the ground, Up Tilt, Forward Air
- Down Air, Forward Ait
Playing Against Wolf
Recovery is where Wolf loses a lot of fights, a rarity for an otherwise strong character. Edguarding him and making use of his fast fall speed to combo him into high percentages is a common way to deal with him. Worth noting that outside of a handful of attacks, Wolf lacks any real KO threat that comes out lighting fast. Many require a little bit of setup to properly land, so if you see a Wolf player let off the gas in pressuring you, then it might be time to either put on the damage against them or be ready for some Dash Attacks and Side specials. Generally, Joker, Pikachu, and Roy, are good picks against the furry fella.