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A Wolf Guide: ‘Beep is your Destiny’ (Unfinished)

A Wolf Guide: ‘Beep is your Destiny’ (Unfinished)

This is an un-finished guide that I will return to as I become better at the game. I decided this as I was writing the guide that I was not skilled enough. If people like it though I will consider finishing sooner rather than later.

A Wolf Guide: ‘Beep is your Destiny’
Wolf Guide Introduction.png


My tag is “TimeMuffin” and I’m writing this guide about my favorite space animal: “Wolf O’ Donnel”. I believe Wolf is one of the most underplayed and underdeveloped characters in Project M, and I feel this guide would help players expand their Wolf play to further horizons. With this guide I aim to cover as much of my available knowledge as possible, and as I’ve previously mentioned - ‘Wolf is one of the most underplayed...’ etc; I won’t be able to show you every little inch of Wolf’s endless options; just what I know as a player. It’s up to you guys to keep pushing this character’s potential forward.

Now to show you I’m not providing false information I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m a Scottish player, so that’s probably the main reason why you wouldn’t have heard of me, but if you have it’s probably from; Reddit GIFS or Reddit posts in general or; my constant lurking on the Wolf discussion boards, trying to help out as many people as I can or; even in the Wolf Skype group - which I happen to be the creator and main content contributor of. I’ve been playing for just a year now and I believe the key to why I’ve improved so fast is the fact that I have so much free time;my incredible passion for wanting to get better/for the game; and most importantly: practice. In this short time I’ve ascended to the best Project M player in my region, which isn’t really a hard thing to do considering I live in Scotland, but we’re getting better and I’ve been to more tournaments than just Scotland. I attended Beast 5, which is a recent tournament in Sweden which had over 400+ entrants, and I placed within the top 40 for PM, only being put out by Mango and Amsah in Winner’s and Loser’s respectively. Anyway that’s definitely enough about me, I just wanted to know you’re in decent hands.

I will update this guide as I learn more and experience more about Smash and this character. As for now though, I’ll fill my thoughts in as much as I can. Please leave some feedback so I can make this the most legitimate guide ever. I also apologize for the lack of footage as I don’t have a computer capable enough of supporting it.

*PLEASE NOTE THIS GUIDE WILL HAVE ADVANCED TERMS SO PLEASE IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER, GOOGLE THESE TERMS IF YOU’RE UNAWARE*

Wolf Guide Pros and Cons.png


I feel like this is the most important thing to cover first, so you understand Wolf from a general perspective.

Pros:

  • Incredibly versatile combo game

  • Fantastic pressure game

  • Amazing projectile

  • Very good at several things

  • Strong edge-guarder

  • Chain-grabs on a vast majority of the cast (if not everyone)

  • Guaranteed kill move

  • Good matchup spread

  • Hard to kill

Cons:

  • Very good combo weight

  • Very easily chain-grabbable weight

  • ‘Falcon Syndrome’

  • To fully optimize this character you have to be very efficient with difficult techs
Wolf Guide How to Play.png


Wolf is an incredibly versatile character thanks to his combo game, well rounded archetype and matchup spread. This means it can be quite hard to go wrong with him, however there is an efficient and optimum way to play him; of course you can adjust these things based on your playstyle, nobody will ever play any character the right way and to their maximum potential.

Blaster is one of Wolf’s main tools within the neutral game, and it’s usage is very important if you wish to succeed with this character. Most Wolf players don’t take enough advantage of this special. If you didn’t know Wolf can waveland out of his blaster fire (I will get to this more later on in the guide), which makes keeping pressure on the opponent via a projectile a very powerful tactic. He can be very versatile with this by wavelanding either forward or backwards, making him close his opponent in with wavelands forward; or zoning his opponent and creating space with wavelands backwards. Average players will never get past the Blaster and you will always get a punish from it, however good players are more difficult to deal with, I’ve not yet met a player who can consistently power-shield my lasers and I’m still interested in doing so. I do recommend high usage of this special, as I believe it’s essential in opening up the other crevices of Wolf’s arsenal. Some matches I believe this is essential in, and others not as required, regardless it’s very useful and I will get more in depth on this later.

Wolf is overall an aggressive character, and I think this stems from his long and exciting combo game. You can really start a combo from anything and get in your opponents face. After gaining your opening with Blaster, you should really reap the benefits and extend your punish as long as possible. With Wolf you can zero-to death absolutely anyone because of his tools; you just need to choose the right options and read the DI carefully. I think if you really want to make your Wolf amazing, you should be able to extend your combos for an extremely long time. I would focus on carefully analysing how you’re comboing, as bad habits can form really badly with this character, and you can really lose out of big punishes. Your combos will vary from character to character, some you will have to chain-grab at lower percents, and some you won’t even have to grab at all. My point is Wolf has a complicated combo game, but has the options to combat any situation if he so pleases. His aggression also comes from his stage-control. He controls the stage with Blaster and forces his opponent to do things and then punishes them. The opponent will often find it hard to regain control which causes them to choose worse options. One mistake can cost a lot for them, and the constant aggression can help the Wolf player in regards to mind set.

The final thing to do is close out the stock from your combo. You can either do this with a Flash kill or an edge-guard. Sometimes the combo can end in a Flash to an edge-guard situation at lower percents however. Edge-guarding as Wolf can be quite scary at first because you have to go really deep to secure some stocks, mainly with the use of his D-air and his B-air. D-air is a good option, because often when an opponent is in an edge-guard situation they’re at high percent; therefore the D-air meteor is more effective because of the amount of hit-stun they’re in.

However, what I’m describing is when Wolf manages to get what he wants, which isn’t always the case. Sometimes human error comes into play, after all we aren’t all perfect. I would describe Wolf as a glass cannon. He can hit extremely hard, but can have the exact same done right back to him. If you’re not on point with your spacing and movement, you can have a really rough time. Make sure your DI and recovery options are well-practiced, if you aren’t on the stage for long enough you can’t get any damage done. This is why you must take your punishes as far as possible, because if the opponent is on-point it’s very hard for you to regain control.



In this section I’ll show whatever useful information I know about the move and it’s various uses in Wolf’s kit.

Jab 1:




Frame Data -

Hits: 4-5

Input next jab as early as frame 3

Transitions to Jab 2 frame 9

IASA: 15

Analysis - This is a relatively quick jab and I think it’s quite useful. One of it’s uses is as a jab reset, often after using a move like N-air or when the opponent is knocked down you can prop them back up. A good kill option utilizing Jab is: Jab > D-Smash. Jab > Shine > Flash is another potent combination, however you have to make sure to move into your opponent a little between the Jab and the shine; otherwise you won’t be close enough for the shine to hit. Mixing Jab into your combos can really throw people off and more than likely extend your combos. Just me careful of certain counter-measures such as: crouch cancelling and DI/SDI.

Jab 2:




Frame Data -

Hits: 4-5

Input next jab as early as frame 2

Transitions to Jab 3 frame 9

IASA: 20


Analysis - I don’t rate this part of the Jab too highly, it’s fairly standard and I don’t tend to use it. It’s good as a mixup and when the opponent starts to react to your Jab resets and shield grabs you - it should hit them as they’re attempting to shield grab.


Jab 3:




Frame Data -

Hits: 4-5

IASA: 35


Analysis - This is better than your standard triple jab combo, as most of the time it leads into a series of rapid kicks or punches. However with this it ends at the third hit. It’s useful for getting the opponent off your back and it’s also quite useful as a tech mix up - I don’t use this too often, but when I do most people miss the tech because of the weird timing. If you’re close enough to the opponents shield you will cross-up their shield; meaning you go through them and you will be at the advantage.

Dash Attack:




Frame Data -

Hits: 11-16

IASA: 35


Analysis - I believe lots of Wolf players use this move recklessly. They use it as his main approach and get punished on shield constantly. The new ones anyway, I think the good players have this figured. Anyway you should use this move solely as a punish/combo extender. As a punish it’s better at lower percents and on stages with platforms, as the attack sends them upward which sets them up for a D-air back onto the platform. On fast-fallers at mid-percents you can link multiple dash attacks to get them at the right angle for the best punish. It can also setup for Flash kills, granted one of the harder setups to hit as it requires you to hit the claws of the hitbox; which sends the opponent up and away, the hitbox closest to Wolf hits them straight upwards. Dash Attack is really good against floaties at most percents. At low percents it can lead into: U-tilts, U-smash, U-air, Grabs. At higher percents the claw hitbox can lead to sweetspot F-airs, and both hitboxes can lead to Flash kills. There are also lots of techniques you can perform using Dash Attack which I’ll explain further in the ‘Techniques’ section.

F-tilt:








Frame Data -

Hits: 7-10

IASA: 32


Analysis - Personally I don’t like this move and have yet to find a proper use for it. D-tilt is faster and is bigger; therefore a better spacing tool than F-tilt. I tend to use it on reaction to get someone away from me. It can be used near the ledge to setup for edge-guards such as D-air. It’s main usage is hitting people far away from you I would suggest.


U-tilt:




Frame Data -

Hits: 7-12

IASA: 28


Analysis - I really like this move in general. It’s another one of Wolf’s many versatile combo moves. It can be used on basically any weight to continue a combo. At mid-percents on fast-fallers you can go for U-throw > U-tilt > re-grab - this can just allow you to juggle them to death. Shine > several U-tilts > U-smash is a good way to juggle/rack up percent. Basically use this to keep them in the air and setup for certain kill options.

D-tilt:




Frame Data -

Hits: 9-10

IASA: 27


Analysis - This is Wolf’s best spacing tool, it comes out fast and it covers a lot of space. You can poke opponents with it from far away, useful if the opponent is shielding. It also sets up nicely for combos; each hitbox sends them up and away, which can easily prep the opponent for anyone of Wolf’s moves. Some moves are harder to hit depending on DI and percent, but the more you use this move the better you’ll understand where it’s applicable. It sets up very nicely for Flash, basically the perfect angle for it, and as long as you aren’t predictable with it the opponent won’t DI it (if they do you can still follow-up).

F-smash:




Frame Data -

Hits: 10-13, 15-16

IASA: 46


Analysis - F-smash is an absolutely absurd move. I’ve heard a lot of players saying it lacks knockback, but what it lacks in knockback it makes up for in range and punish potential. This move has crazy range, which allows you to punish laggy moves (or even non-laggy moves) very easily. It will send up and away if you hit the good hit-box. Very rarely will you hit the sour spot, it’s only if you’re very close to them and it basically causes the second set of hitboxes not to connect. It’s also incredibly good at punishing recovery, it can hit opponents quite far off the ledge and even under the ledge. For example if Marth just misses the perfect sweet spot with Up-B, Wolf can punish him with F-smash under the ledge. I see it as quite ridiculous and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was nerfed. I wouldn’t use this all the time as your punish option, because it won’t kill at lower percents with good DI; if the opponent is closer to you and they’re at mid-percent I would suggest D-smash, it’s much more potent at killing. In many cases with characters at low percent, B-throw > F-smash is a true combo, at slightly higher percents charging the F-smash can ensure you get the hit.


U-smash:




Frame Data -

Hits: 11-19 (first swipe), 20-24 (second swipe)

IASA: 44


Analysis - U-smash is surprisingly versatile, but isn’t crazy good in any category. It’s a good combo tool at lower percents, N-air shine into U-smash is a good way to get them in the air and start a string of U-airs. Against fast-fallers U-smash is more useful as you can chain U-smash together which can lead into more devastating combo strings. U-smash is also a good edge-guard option if the opponent decides to recover from the air. The second swipe of U-smash actually sends them down and away which can gimp or secure the kill easily. U-smash can also work as a kill move against some characters, it will kill midweight characters at higher percents and floaties at lower percents. The way I like to set this up is by Waveland Blastering, if they get hit I follow up with a DACUS; I believe it’s a really good use for Wolf’s DACUS and is incredibly underrated.


D-smash:




Frame Data -

Hits: 8-9, 14-15

IASA: 41


Analysis - D-smash is probably Wolf’s most powerful kill option in a general sense. It’s quite easy to setup and sends at a very nice angle (down and away). You can set it up as a whiff punish - if an opponent miss-spaces or makes a mistake, you can wavedash D-smash. At higher percents N-air into D-smash is a true combo, I will get into this more later once we get to N-air. Another way to set it up is through a tech-chase, as the D-smash covers two sides it’s the safest bet when you’re unsure of a tech chase scenario. It comes out frame 8 so it’s very fast. If the opponent is coming from a horizontal angle or even below the stage recovering, this is probably the best option to edgeguard with. If you notice the hitbox in the middle of the GIF, this hitbox actually goes under the ledge so it’s very easy to hit opponents recovering low. The D-smash has massive range so it’s quite easy to hit opponents recovering horizontally also.


N-air:




Frame Data -

Hits: 7-8, 11-12, 15-16, 19-20, 23-24

Landing hit: 1-2

IASA: 39

Autocancel: 33 >

Landlag: 7/15


Analysis - So unlike the other Spacies, Wolf’s N-air does not act like a sex kick, so it isn’t as useful in some repsects; however don’t underestimate how good this move is because of this difference. N-air is an amazing combo tool and is mainly used as one also. Shine > N-air works on all of the cast and can be used on them at pretty much any percent; although that isn’t optimal. I think it’s one of his safest combo followups (if you are unfamiliar with the matchup), and it’s at it’s best at low/mid percent ranges. With N-air you can continuously N-air > Shine a lot of the cast, some characters such as Bowser you can pretty much N-air Shine to death when done correctly. After the Shine you want to fast-fall with the N-air to bring them back down to then link again into the Shine. N-air > Shine can link into a lot of moves so get creative with it. At higher percents N-air links into any move as a true combo, so it can be very useful to make sure you get that N-air into D-smash for a kill. N-air > Shine > Flash is probably one of the most BnB Wolf combos, and it’s really effective. Sometimes it’s more effective than N-air > D-smash because it racks up more percent and has better killing potential depending on the situation.


I’ve also been experimenting using N-air as a gimping tool off-stage. Basically you get the opponent off-stage (most commonly with a f-throw) and then drag them down with N-air and recover back with your chosen recovery option. You have to make sure you use your jump before you do it; otherwise you will be to low to recover. I think it’s good against characters with weak vertical recoveries and heavier members of the cast. For example against DK at low percent, D-air wouldn’t kill him if you threw him off-stage, however a gimp with N-air > grab ledge would almost certainly secure the kill. Same with Falco, he could probably recover from a D-air at low percent. Against characters like Fox however it comes down to luck, sometimes you get a good gimp; other times you don’t. I’ve noticed that you get to use your Up-B much faster than the opponent so sometimes you will be able to stop their recovery option with yours. Sometimes it can go really well and other times it doesn’t, it just depends on how good your off-stage game is and your opponents knowledge. I think the best way for the opponent to counter this is to either: DI away, or take Wolf with him; with an attack of some sort. I’m still experimenting with this and I believe I’ve already found some decent situational uses.


I’d also like to point out that N-air > Shine Grab is a very safe shield pressure tool if the opponent does manage to shield your attack. If the opponent is smart they will start buffering rolls against you, in this case you want to start Double-shining, if they then start reacting to this by shield-grabbing you - you need to start adding more/less shines to mix them up.


F-air:




Frame Data -

Hits: 11-14

IASA: 30

Autocancel: 27 >

Landlag: 13/26


Analysis - Again, another one of Wolf’s versatile moves. It can be used both as a combo tool and a kill move. The two hitboxes closest to the inside of Wolf have very little knockback; whereas the hitbox on Wolf’s claws has very high vertical knockback. The hitboxes with low knockback are very useful for juggling certain characters, you can do it over and over again provided they have the correct percent. What aids this is that the F-air is easily auto-cancelable, so you can react with another one very quickly. You can use this to get the opponent to a particular percent or to setup for a Flash kill. At lower percents you will have to shorten the Flash, and at higher percents it requires more positioning. The strong hitbox is incredibly useful for killing floatier characters, it can even kill midweights at decent percents as well. The weak hitbox is a good way to setup for the strong hitbox, along with all of Wolf’s throws apart from F-throw. It’s also worthwhile to note that you can hit a reverse F-air for the strong hitbox, this is good in certain combo situations where a normal one won’t cut it.

B-air:




Frame Data -

Hits: 9-12

IASA: 31

Autocancel: < 9 24 >

Landlag: 10/20


Analysis - In my opinion this is one of Wolf’s best moves, and with good reason too. It’s his best horizontal spacing tool - with great range and quick speed; it’s hard to beat. This is his version of a ‘sex kick’, similar to that of Fox or Falco’s N-air - it doesn’t have as many active frames so it doesn’t really fulfill the same purpose, but Wolf is unique and he plays differently; so we shouldn’t compare this move to that of Fox or Falco.

Because of this moves advantages, it’s a very potent option in the neutral game. When you need to get an opponent to respect your space, this is probably the move to go to. A way I like to combine two of Wolf’s incredible neutral game options is by shooting a Blaster shot and then following up with a RAR (reverse aerial rush) B-air. What this does is allow you to react to how you want to use your B-air - if the Blaster shot hit you can then follow up with the B-air; or more likely you can gain stage control by spacing the B-air. It’s also possible to choose to hit their shield as a type of pressure, but make sure to hit the lowest part of their shield as possible, to make sure you have the most amount of time to escape.

Another thing this move has going for it is it’s kill potential. Again, speedy with lots of range means you can’t go wrong. Going deep with B-air’s off-stage is a great way to secure an edge-guard situation. The move has both a weak hitbox and a strong hitbox - the weak part closer to the inside and the strong part closer to the outside. Both are very useful in all aspects of Wolf’s game. The weak part can allow you to setup for a D-air edge-guard; whereas the strong part will most likely secure the kill entirely. The weak part of B-air can also link into Side-B at higher percents, so as you could’ve guessed B-air can be used as a combo move; both as a starter and ender. Shine > B-air is a well-known spacie tech, and works just as well on Wolf; for combos or in an edge-guard situation, it’s pretty amazing.



TO BE CONTINUED...
Author
TimeMuffinPhD
Views
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First release
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Rating
4.82 star(s) 17 ratings

Latest reviews

So THAT'S how you kill with Wolf.
Hopefully this will be continued
Great Stuff Very Solid Guide! Just needs to be finished.... :)
I like it, pretty good in depth and expansive. Looking forward to the completed version, if you need any thoughts or anything feel free to ask me
AWESOME GUIDE! Can't wait for you to update this further! Really has me considering on picking up Wolf!
Very thorough and inspiring, I could see a lot of people picking him up because of this guide.

One thing I saw is you said that Dtilt is faster than Ftilt and listed them as frame 9 and 7 respectively. Not sure whether the frame data is incorrect or you've mistaken them. As for how to use Ftilt I find wavelanding into it from a laser is really good if you catch your opponent not shielding. Not sure how guaranteed it is but I'll work on it.
This makes me want to play Wolf.
This is great! I actually have a WIP wolf guide if you want I could give you that stuff (to clarify it is a serious WIP and their isn't much you could use but you might salvage something)
TimeMuffinPhD
TimeMuffinPhD
Sure send me it and I'll take a look. Thanks for the feedback too!
Really can't wait to see this finished. I've picked up Wolf as a secondary of sorts, mainly for friendlies cause he's so fun and cool. Best of luck on the guide :).
Excellent analysis on Wolf.

Seeing this have this much info and NOT be complete is what surprises me the most about this.

Seeing how its still not complete i feel more than obliged to remind you to put some example matchups and details on what do with his difficult opponents.

Great progress. Hope to see it finish soon.
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