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Endless Possibilities

A comprehensive guide to Project M Sonic

  1. Star ☆
    [​IMG]
    Contents
    1. Introduction
    2. Sonic's Pros and Cons
    3. Various Statistics
    4. The Gameplan
    5. Moveset Analysis
      1. Grounded Moves
      2. Grabs and Throws
      3. Aerial Moves
      4. Specials
      5. Other
    6. Aspects of Sonic
      1. Movement
      2. Recovery
      3. Edgeguarding
    7. Stages
    8. Matchups
    9. Conclusion and Thanks

    [​IMG]

    Hey everyone, I'm Star. For those who don't know me, I'm a Smash Player from Sydney, Australia and I have been playing Project M (And by extension, Sonic) since mid 2013 and have been attending tournaments ever since. Ever since the 3.5 Patch came out for Project M many players have dropped Sonic, finding his new style too different now than in patches prior and even those who still play Sonic in 3.5 (and now 3.6) may not have a full grasp over his potential now in this update.

    I wrote this guide with the intention of spreading his potential and showing all players that wish to use Sonic what is possible and what they can do to achieve. You may notice that the Moveset Analyis part of the guide is by far the largest and this is primarily because I feel Sonic can be played so flexibly due to the multipurpose functions all of his moves. As such, please try and experiment with everything Sonic can do and don't take my advice as the absolute concrete way to play this character but form your own playstyle. This guide was the culmination of two months of hard work and I hope all current Sonic players and/or players that are interested in Sonic can benefit from the information in this document. Please leave a review and send feedback if you can, I plan to update this guide in the future with more detailed matchup information as things become more apparent.


    [​IMG]

    Pros
    • Fastest run speed in the game, coupled with his dash dance this allows for ridiculously fast movement
    • Amazing punish game through his grabs and aerials
    • Very high jumps and fast movement speed through the air out of a run
    • Has very good options in all directions whilst in the air due to his versatile aerials
    • Fantastic edge guarding potential through his specials, aerials and other movement options
    Cons
    • Semi-floaty and is quite light, meaning improper DI can lead to getting KOed very early
    • Somewhat low killing power in the neutral outside of his Bair/Nair and forward smash, meaning he has a hard time killing the opponent when they are at very high percents because he can't combo them
    • Recovering without a double jump is very risky due to the way that spring interacts with the ledge
    • Somewhat low damage output, meaning you have to land reads very often in order to rack up a large amount of damage with Sonic
    • A general lack of disjoint, causing Sonic to trade quite frequently with the opponent
    [​IMG]
    Thank you 1MachGo for these Stats!

    Weight - 82 (31st-32nd Heaviest)
    Walk Speed - 1.4 (3rd-6th Fastest)
    Run Speed - 4.0 (1st Fastest)
    Full Hop Height - 35.991 (11th Highest)
    Short Hop Height - 13.6935 (20th Highest)
    Running Jump Air Speed - 2.0 (3rd-4th Carried Momentum)
    Fall Speed - 1.9 (21st-25th Floatiest)
    Wavedash Length - 27.31 (26th Longest)
    Has a Walljump


    [​IMG]

    Sonic is a very bait heavy character, his movement and deceptive specials are some of your greatest tools in the neutral to weed out poorly spaced attacks that the opponent throws out and punish them effectively, usually with a grab. Sonic also has great poking tools that are effective against more subtle/fast characters that can effectively lead into damage building setups or a kill offstage. Ultimately, a Sonic player will be aiming for high damage combos out of throws that lead into strong aerial kill options offstage or slow gimps through the use of his specials. The flexibility of these options is what makes Sonic the character that he is and smart use of all his different tools in each and every matchup is key to winning as the character.

    [​IMG]

    1. Grounded Moves

    Before I describe the aspects of Sonic's character I will go over each and every single one of his attacks and explain them in detail in order to gain a proper understanding of how each of Sonic's moves work in conjunction to each other. Special thanks to Sartron for the hitbox gifs and frame data.

    Jab - PPK

    Jab 1
    Active on frame 3
    -8 on shield
    Cancelable into Jab 2 on frames 8-24
    Jab 2
    Active on frames 2-3
    -9 on shield
    Cancelable into Jab 3 on frames 7-23
    Jab 3
    Active on frames 4-6
    -7 on shield
    [​IMG]
    Sonic punches twice, alternating fists before kicking straight ahead. A fairly average 3 frame jab. Sonic generally gets the most mileage out of this move with only the first two jabs, utilising them for combo extenders out of tilts (down tilt or up tilt) which allow him to put opponents in hitstun in the air long enough for Sonic to land a grab. Sonic's full jab combo into Jab3 is somewhat unreliable but it's worth using if you've landed the first jab but don't feel comfortable going for the grab due to the opponents percent, character or position. Jab1 off the ledge into d-tilt works on floaties as well, giving you a nice pop up to follow up with.

    Forward Tilt - Horse Kick

    Active on frames 7-11
    -17, -18 and -19 on shield (depends on tilt direction and hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic flips over onto his hands and thrusts his legs in-front of him. A very nice poking tool. Amazing for edgeguarding situations and spacing at characters within range without large risk. This move can be angled up and down as well as straight forward so you can utilise it to poke beneath the ledge or at characters diagonally above you. This move yields huge range if you prime it out of a moonwalk and doing so gives you a high speed poke with nearly full stage range. Rare is it a time where you can combo out of forward tilt so use it as a combo finisher or to bait your opponent to do something.

    Down Tilt - Leg Throw

    Active on frames 6-10
    -18 on shield
    [​IMG]
    Sonic sweeps the ground with one leg. One of his best grounded moves. Down tilt is Sonic's primary defensive option that pops your opponents into the air above him; you will find that the primary use of this will be out of crouch cancel, similar to Roy's down tilt. However, unlike Roy's dtilt, Sonic's becomes almost useless if the opponent DIs it correctly (behind Sonic) so you will gain the most reward out of surprising the opponent with this hitbox. After dtilt you can reliably follow with uairs to build percent and/or kill off the top, dair spike to create a tech chase scenerio or bair to finish your opponent off the side blast zone. Sonic's down tilt is very flexible and it is one of his most creative options he has whilst grounded.

    Up Tilt - Sonic Up Draft

    Active on frames 6-10
    -17 on shield
    [​IMG]
    Sonic back flips on the spot. A fantastic anti air. Sonic's up tilt is your primary tool against characters in the vertical range just in front of Sonic, as the hitbox indicates. This move is especially useful as a combo tool, chaining into aerials or into itself and/or jab1 at lower percents. You will find that this move is your primary way of punishing unreliable aerial approach options (Link nair, Snake dair, Falcon dair etc.) and also for building percent in an otherwise lack luster combo. Around 140% this move will also begin to kill off the top blast zone so keep that in mind if you're struggling to KO at high percents.

    Dash Attack - Spin Attack

    Active on frames 2-5, 6-22
    -32, -30 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic spins into a ball whilst moving a set distance. This move has a very lengthy hitbox and so it's generally very high risk especially also due to its large shield disadvantage and highly negatively disjointed hitbox and generally isn't worth utilising on stage, especially in the neutral unless you cancel it into to grab. (This is called a Gatling Grab, press grab within 2 frames of dash attack initiation). Gatling grab is highly useful against characters that either are large/fast falling and/or heavily reliant on crouch cancel as they will not be popped up by the dash attack hitbox and the grab will connect. Sonic's dash attack is more universally applicable when the opponent is offstage and they are playing a character that has a recovery without a large hitbox (Falcon, Olimar, ROB, another Sonic etc.) you can use the dash attack to gimp them at the ledge and push them far offstage without a jump. Be very careful using this move.

    Forward Smash - Windup Punch

    Active on frames 16-19, 20-22
    -16, -14 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic winds up his fist before punching in one of three directions. This move, like most forward smashes, should be saved for punishes or very specific situations. Sonic's forward smash has surprisingly good range and power and is useful for punishing laggy moves (Rest, PSI Offense up, Tranq etc.) and missed recoveries that land on stage. It can also be used to cover the ledge or other areas close to the side of the stage when opponents are recovering due to its small amount of disjoint and the directions it can be angled. Down angled towards the ledge is notably useful against characters with linear recoveries.

    Pivot forward smash also has its limited use in tech chase situations but nothing worth losing a stock over if you read incorrectly. Be prepared to follow up if you hit with the inner hitboxes, as it sends straight up. If you do happen to whiff this move you can wavedash back or use side special in a shine-esque fashion as the IASA frames start relatively soon after Sonic draws his fists back in. Even so, exercise caution when using this move.

    Down Smash - Sonic Flare

    Active on frames 10-19, 24-30
    -17, -18 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic sweeps around him in a breakdance fashion twice. Similar in application to Sheik's down smash, Sonic's down smash is useful for covering tech chases and ledge options. Unlike Sheik's, however, Sonic's lasts longer and covers a wider range, allowing for more creative applications of both of the sweeps. You can use this to catch people at a wide range behind and in front of Sonic, be aware that the backwards hitbox is less powerful, however. Another notable use of this move is out of side special, acting as a great combo finisher. This move is noticably laggier than forward smash, however, due to the IASA frames not beginning until Sonic's feet touch the ground. Be very careful when choosing how to use this move.

    Up Smash - Razor Spin

    Active on frames 18, 20-24
    -29, -21 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic twirls on the spot then launches upwards into a ball. This move is seldom useful, with the exception of some very specific situations, this is generally because Sonic's up smash doesn't yield enough knockback to counterbalance for the laggy finish to the move if it does whiff. It also starts up much slower than any of his other attacks and the IASA frames are in the very last stage of the move, making it very difficult to position yourself after using the attack. This move is useful in limited ways to pressure people whilst underneath platforms and out of a DACUS or gatling combo, the latter of which is very useful on fast fallers and larger characters. (be warned that it is quite easy for the opponent to ASDI the dash attack and be out of range of the up smash) It's also worth noting that up smash has two frames of intangibility (18-19) and the hitbox that lifts the opponent up is on frame 18; this means that it's useful for you to use at high percents or when other burst movement options are coming your way. Be extremely careful with your use of this move; it has cost me many games before.

    2. Grabs and Throws

    Grabs

    Standing Grab
    Active on frames 7-8
    Dash Grab
    Active on frames 10-11
    Pivot Grab
    Active on frames 10-11
    Grab Pummel
    Active on frames 4-5
    Yields 3 damage
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    All three of Sonic's grabs have noticably short range but it's Sonic's jump cancel grab that shines. Due to Sonic's high run speed, his standing grab's range is neutered by the sheer distance Sonic can slide whilst jump cancel grabbing. Pivot grab is also useful for extra range as a mixup. You should always avoid dash grabbing due to the bad grabbox and how lengthy the cooldown animation is. Grabbing in general is what you should be going for in the majority of situations as it leads into Sonic's amazing throws which are great combo starters at nearly all percents. Sonic's pummels are fairly average, just be careful with your use of them as they give the opponent extra time to adjust their DI. Use grabs as often as you can, just be careful as to when to shield grab and be aware of where the opponent hits your shield, especially against spacies.

    Forward Throw - Foot Launch

    Opponent thrown on frame 11
    Sonic kicks the opponent straight forward. A simple positioning throw. You will generally be using forward throw as a quick way to push your opponent offstage with more horizontal distance than that of down throw. This is especially useful against characters like Roy and Falcon who can be edgeguarded easily with spring gimps when they are forced to recover low due to forward throw's trajectory. You generally won't be using this throw as often as up or down but it is still useful.

    Back Throw - Flip Throw

    Opponent thrown on frame 43
    Sonic backflips multiple times before letting go off his opponent, launching them backwards. Another positioning throw. The utility of this throw is very similar to that of forward throw, just in the other direction. The most notable difference here is that back throw is a lot more powerful, especially at low percents. The animation is much longer, however, so the opponent has more time to adjust their DI accordingly and prepare for your followup. This throw is good to use every once in a while to mix up your opponents expectations, especially since followups out of back throw are generally more KO centric than up throw (bair, dair etc.)

    Down Throw - Double Spin

    Opponent thrown on frame 42
    Sonic lays the opponent down on the ground then spin grinds on top of them. A fantastic multi-purpose throw. On stage, this throw is good for setting up a tech chase situation similar to Sheik/Falcon down throw. The primary difference for Sonic is that the trajectory of the throw means that your opponent will land out further than that of Falcon/Sheik down throw. Because of this, you will generally have to foxtrot forwards at least once to effectively cover multiple options once your opponent hits the ground. Sonic has many different ways to tech chase, primarily JC grabs and Homing Attack, the latter of which not often leading into immediate followups but effectively maintaining frame advantage, this will be expanded on further on in the Homing Attack section.

    Down throw is also used primarily off the ledge; this is a very important mixup and will often be your throw of choice at the ledge. After down throwing your opponent off the ledge you can reliably drop off the side of the stage into a fast fall and effectively cover options from there on a character by character basis. Solid options include b-turnaround primed Homing Attack, a raw fair meteor or a bair stage spike. Down throw is very flexible and will likely be your second most often used throw.


    Up Throw - Quill Rack

    Opponent thrown on frame 25
    Sonic tosses the opponent up and spikes them on his hair as they fall down. Saving the best throw for last, up throw is Sonic's most useful combo starter, leading into high damage combos at lower percents and kill moves as time goes on. In the netural, against most characters, Sonic will be looking to bait attacks then dash in for a grab, leading into this throw. There are generally three directions an opponent can go when they DI this move; straight up, a 60 degree angle or about about a 40 degree angle. These are caused by DI towards Sonic's back, No DI and DI away respectively. On average floatiness characters, Sonic has followups on all three, similar to Falcon up throw. However, unlike Falcon up throw, Sonic's up throw doesn't have the hitstun or cooldown at the end of the throw to react to DI so at higher percents Sonic usually has to commit to an option as soon as the IASA frames begin, meaning that it is important to catch on to the opponents DI habits as you can drop follow ups easily if you mess it up.

    Straight up DI can be chained into uairs at lower percents, usually stacking up about three or four before a bair finisher. At higher percents you can double uair with spring and land the KO; practice spring followups and memorise what heights you can achieve out of jump and double jump. No DI is fairly simple but actually hard for Sonic to follow up on sometimes due to the odd angle they travel at, treat it a bit more like straight up DI and try to land uairs at low percents. At higher percents you can kill with fair, uair or the dair spike; nair can be risky out of these throws due to the positioning you have to achieve in order to land the sweetspot, keep this in mind especially against characters like Luigi or Samus. Away DI is the most common DI but still doesn't have its lack of followups. At low percents Sonic can dair spike to start a grounded combo and/or tech chase. Additionally you can fair sourspot into uair or reliably use the nair sweetspot to push opponents offstage. At mid percents Blast Attack starts to put the opponent in enough hitstun for you to convert it into another aerial so its fantastic for laying on damage, Blast Attack also connects after sourspot fair on certain characters in a small percentage bracket.

    At higher percents the floatier characters and faster falling characters will start to escape Sonic's followups if they DI offstage as Sonic cannot jump from directly beneath them without the ground to jump from. However, on most characters you can land a kill with nair sourspot, the dair spike or Blast Attack into Spring Uair/Bair. It is important to work out what followups work on certain characters in order to understand when you should cease up throwing and DI mixup into down throw or other tools. A useful option at mid percents is to charge down b and jump as soon as you can, this way you can followup reliably with aerials if they DI away or double jump cancel the down b charge into a bair if they DI straight up. Up throw has a huge lexicon of followups and it's up to the Sonic player to be as creative as possible as up throw can lead into 50%+ combos on most characters if you learn what works on different floatiness/weight combinations.

    3. Aerial Moves

    Neutral Air - Instashield

    Active on frames 4-8, 9-14, 15-21
    +1, -1, -2, -3 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic curls up into a ball and spins quickly on the spot, forming a wind "shield" around him that cuts into opponents. One of Sonic's more realible moves, neutral air is great for dealing damage and pressuring shields. Sweetspot neutral air is a decent kill move at high percents but relatively hard to set up outside of Blast Attack, which will generally be used after up throw offstage; nair can kill very early in this situation. Nair's sourspot is also very good for positioning purposes, generally used after short hopping out side b or weak hits offstage. Nair is very safe on shield so it's quite safe to use out of a shffl whilst running as you can reliably hit shields then rush in and convert into a grab or another mixup with nair. Nair's sourspot is also useful after homing attack as it can push opponents down out of their recovery range at lower percents.

    I generally don't use this aerial as heavily as his others but it still has its uses and it's worth experimenting with them to see when it's most useful as nair's most rewarding element is its frame data (quick start up and low cooldown) as its actual utility in terms of where you hit with it are outclassed by his other aerials in most situations (nair sourspot can be replaced with fair starting sweetspot and nair sweetspot can be replaced with dair spike). A very good aerial otherwise and a signature move of his character.

    Forward Air - Sonic Eagle

    Active on frames 8-9, 10-13
    -5 on shield
    [​IMG]
    Sonic front flips and axe kicks with his right foot. Sonic's main spacing tool and multi purpose aerial. This move has two hitboxes, the inner hitbox on his leg and one on his foot. The leg hitbox is useful only for setting up into other aerials at mid percents out of throws or in the neutral, leading primarily into blast attack. The outwards hitbox however, is the sweetspot, obviously having much more utility and as such will be the main hitbox that you will be likely be using for the move. The sweetspot hits on a horizontal angle until frame 10 where it becomes a meteor smash. On stage, Sonic's fair is used to pressure opponents at a safe distance out of short hops and hitconfirming on shield. This is useful as you can convert sweetspotted meteor fair into other aerials out of jumps at low/mid percents and out of spring at higher percents. If you land the horizontal hitting hitbox you can chase the opponent into either a tech chase at lower percents or offstage into gimps at higher percents.

    Offstage, Sonic's fair is useful to wall out opponents with good interrupt aerials (Luigi, Samus etc.) or characters that have active hitboxes on their recovery (Fox, Mario etc.) as the heel hitbox has a slight amount of disjoint. At almost every percent Sonic can combo meteor cancels from his fair into a bair which may lead to a stage spike, there are also other creative options you can utilise with his specials in order to cover other options out of the opponent's meteor cancel. It is also worth noting that fair is very good to use out of spring when recovering just above the ledge; it is a very fast option and can catch many edgeguarders next to the ledge offguard, just only use it in moderation. This move is quite safe and fast so it is handy to throw out this move often to control space whilst also remaining unpredictable. Use this move well.

    Back Air - Turn Kick

    Active on frames 13-15, 16-21
    -5, -3, -2, ±0 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic turns 180° in the air and kicks horizontally with his left leg. This is Sonic's primary killing move in most matchups. Back air has very high knockback scaling and quickly becomes a kill move at the ledge and offstage as early as 50%. This move has a dangerous nature due to its large hitbox, making it useful in grounded situations where dash dance into short hop bair is a large threat to the opponent. This forces your opponent to shield and gives Sonic leeway to to create more room in order to start a punish if they misspace an approach. This is also a very nice hitconfirm as tipper bair is relatively safe on shield and you can react easily on hit, following opponents into tech chases at low percents and offstage at mid percents, it will even outright kill onstage at around 70-130% depending on their weight and the stage.

    Bair is a great combo finisher as well, useful out of uairs at lower percents and blast attack at mid percents. Grounded down b also realiably leads into the RAR jumping hitbox of the spin and then into bair against floaty and larger/heavier characters. Bair's opening hitboxes only last for two frames but the late hitboxes are still useful, reliably killing offstage at higher percents. Like fair, bair can also be used out of spring to quickly land a hit as the move starts up when Sonic is still rising. You will likely be using this move very often to control space and end stocks so experiment with percentages in order to figure out when the move kills certain weight classes reliably.

    Down Air - Stomp Dive

    Active on frames 9-11, 12-24
    -8 on shield
    [​IMG]
    Sonic thrusts his left leg digonally down and dives. The only dive kick esque normal in Project M, Sonic's dair is very useful for movement, escaping combos, recovery and also for comboing and KOing. In terms of movement, Sonic's dair is often useful for closing the distance between Sonic's aerial position and the ground, most often out of spinshots or Spring. Proper spacing of this move is pivotal to prevent being hit as many characters have the tools to quickly reach Sonic's future position after reading your dair and punishing fiercly. Whilst the L cancel landing lag is only 14 frames long learning the height threshold for the auto-cancel is very important, especially when dairing towards a platform. As you may be aware, Sonic's Spring is very useful for escaping your opponents strings during gaps in hitstun. This is only useful because of Sonic's ability to immediately dair afterwards and return himself to a neutral position lest he floats in a vunerable position above his opponent. It is important to recognise when you can escape combos and use this technique effectively. I will expand on this later in the Spring section.

    In terms of combo and KO potential, Sonic's dair is fantastic for both its spike hitbox and falling hitbox. During the first 3 frames, Sonic's dair is a slow spike, sending the opponent down at roughly the same angle and speed that Sonic is traveling. After these three frames, however, Sonic's dair will start to send at a more horizontal angle and the hitbox is reduced to his leg, making it negatively disjointed. In combos, Sonic's spike is often useful out of throws or blast attack, reseting the combo into a tech chase scenerio. Dair also commonly combos out of grounded Spin Charge, where Sonic hits with the grounded hitbox of the spin then performs a RAR jump into dair, depending on the opponents percent and SDI this will either lead into the spike or horizontal hitbox, both of which deal decent damage and have a great chance for followup if Sonic chases up to maintain frame advantage. Offstage, Sonic's dair can often combo raw out of up throw on many characters, which can be particuarly devastating for characters with poor vertical recoveries like Donkey Kong or Bowser. After the spike you can either footstool or double jump back and fair, guaranteeing death at even the lowest percents. Sonic's dair is one of his best aerials and is very versatile; strong and smart use of this move can heavily improve your Sonic game and it is worth exploring all of its uses in order to maximumise that potential.

    Up Air - Windmill Kick

    Active on frames 5-7, 10-14
    -8, -4 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic twirls his legs above him in a two hit attack. A great juggling tool and kill move. Sonic's uair is used simply for hitting opponents above him, dealing a decent amount of percent when landing both hits of the move. As of 3.5, both hits reliably combo into eachother, allowing you to tack on percentage when in range. This move combos into itself at lower percents, allowing for 2 or 3 to link with clever use of Sonic's double jump and spring. Bair can often combo out of uair at lower percents as well, maximising your damage output. Whilst Sonic's uair can KO realibly with both hits landed, the true KO sweetspot is on the tip of Sonic's feet during the second hit of the attack; this hitbox is almost impossible to land if you have already hit the opponent with the initial hit of the attack, you will find that proper spacing of the tipper hitbox will be your most reliable KO option off the top and it is even more probable that uair's sweetspot can knock opponents above the ceiling threshold when comboed into itself through the use of spring. Moves like down tilt, up tilt and sweetspot fair on the ground can link into uair's sweetspot with certainty if spring is used as soon as possible in order to gain height before the opponent can escape hitstun.

    Like Fox's uair, falling uair is also useful as an option when above an opponent or for hitting an opponent up without having to halt to use grounded options; this is even greater for Sonic as he can follow up after this to even higher percents than Fox can due to spring uair. You can also use the first hitbox by itself with proper timing to combo into grounded options like grabs or tilts. Offstage, Sonic's uair is good to use out of spring, like fair and bair, and can hit opponents poised at the ledge through certain stages, such as Smashville. Sonic kills off the ceiling quite extensively simply due to this move, use it often.


    3. Specials


    Neutral Special - Homing Attack/Blast Attack

    Home releases on frame 25
    Missed target shot releases on frame 59
    4-58 Blast Attack frame window
    -24 on shield
    [​IMG]
    Sonic curls up into a ball and rises slowly into the air before rushing towards a target within range, striking a pose if the attack lands. One of Sonic's trademark moves hailing every Sonic game since Adventure. Upon activation, Sonic will enter a ball state then blast off to the closest target to him, the range noted in the image above. There are only 11 frames of which Sonic will lock onto a target so it is quite easy for an opponent to become invunerable through means of rolls, spotdodges, airdodges or other character specific moves. As of 3.5 if Sonic fails to find a target he will enter a special fall, be aware of this; if Sonic finds a target but misses due to the opponents movement Sonic will be still be free to move when the attack cools down, this also occurs if Sonic hits a wall or bounces off the ground. This is a important distincition that many players seem to be unaware of. The home generally goes towards character's heads, so taller characters such as Marth, Ganondorf, Snake, Zero Suit Samus etc. can often dodge this attack inadvertenty through means of attacks or movement options that put them in lower positions such as crouching or dashing. When Sonic hits an opponent or their shield he will do one of four taunts in the air, you're free to control Sonic's horizontal momentum during this state.

    Onstage Homing Attack can be used as a poke in the neutral against certain characters as a mixup. Sonic has amazing tools to cross up his opponent through spinshots and wavelands and, as such, Homing Attacks mixed in amongst these is often a good tool to utilise. Depending on weight classes and percent Sonic can follow up Homing Attacks with aerials or up tilts, leading into platform tech chases or aerial finishing moves such as dair or bair. If Sonic ever needs to tech chase someone, Homing Attack is a good low risk, low reward option to utilise. The range of this generally covers tech in place, tech in and no tech depending on your position and the initial startup and invicibility of the opponents tech rolls. This usually doesn't lead into many direct followups but allows Sonic to maintain frame advantage and continue to tech chase and/or pressure the opponent in the air. Be warned that certain characters have good tools to punish Homing Attack on shield (DK's nair, Falcon's uair, ROB's uair, Link's up b etc.) so be ready to drift your taunt in different directions to maintain a guessing game for their punish. On almost all characters Homing Attack can link to itself with proper spacing at certain percents. The percents ranges are very strict on most characters, however, which the exception on some larger characters such as Bowser. Multiple Homing Attacks tack on a large amount of damage and can carry opponents to the very top of the screen, linking into an easy uair to finish off their stock.

    Offstage Homing Attack is notrious for its gimping potential but also its predictability. Be very aware of where and when you use Homing Attack offstage as a simple misspace of the move can mean death without warning. A good practice to employ is priming a B-turnaround everytime you attempt a Homing Attack offstage, no matter how certain you are of its safety. This can guarantee your survival if the opponent escapes your lock on range as Sonic will flub towards the stage, wall or ledge when he misses and you will be free to recover with Spring. When you do use Homing Attack offstage, be aware of the enemy's options to punish it at close range and also when hitboxes are surrounding their recovery. Generally speaking, the more linear and "hitboxless" the recovery is, the better time Sonic has at punishing it. Some examples include Roy, Falcon, Ganondorf, Ivysaur, Charizard, ROB etc. After landing a Homing Attack, you can then choose to follow up with your aerial of choice. Generally sweetspot nair or bair is your best option and will KO most characters off the side. At higher percents you may find you will have to Spring then aerial afterwards in order to land the kill.

    Against fast fallers offstage Homing Attack is very useful, pushing them down far enough for Sonic to followup with another Homing Attack or the late hit of nair. The general rule here is to down throw or forward throw the fast faller offstage then chase up with a Homing Attack and slowly push them further down and away until they cannot recover anymore, Sonic can then double jump and safely spring back up to reach the ledge. I will talk about how edgeguarding different fast fallers contrasts in the matchup section. Be very careful with your use of this move and take every precaution necessary to survive if you miss.

    If you press A during the startup of Homing Attack, Sonic will launch straight forward at the same angle of his missed homing attack instantaneously. (as early as frame 4!) This move is called Blast Attack and is a great combo tool for Sonic to use both onstage and offstage. Distinctions from Homing Attack include the lack of homing properties, a quick startup and IASA frames that come out twice as fast on hit as Homing Attack. (Frame 15 as opposed to 30) I have talked a lot about Blast Attack in other sections, talking about how it generally extends combos into other aerials from throws and specials, this is its primary use. Out of throws Sonic can use it to slow down the situation and properly set up into a kill aerial with proper spacing for the sweetspot. You can also use this out of Somersault to link into other aerials for larger amounts of damage. Blast Attack deals 8% which is nice to tack on during your combo for that extra mileage. Use this move frequently during combos and you will extent Sonic's aerial links as far as you possibly can, just be aware that missing this move will end in a special fall like homing attack's missed lock on.


    Side Special - Somersault

    5 frame startup
    Jump cancel/Baseball Slide window begins on frame 7
    Tap Somersault active on frames 1-4, 6-9, 11-14, 16-19
    Hold Somersault active on frames 4-60
    Baseball Side active on frames 6-25
    -37, -40, -48 on shield (depends on hitbox)
    [​IMG]
    Sonic somersaults forward across the ground. There are two variations of the grounded version of this move, the tap and hold versions versions. If you just tap b momentarily Sonic will somersault across the ground and uncurl but if you hold side B he will slightly hop off the ground then roll marginally further on the ground before uncurling. Both versions have their strengths and weaknesses and I will run through them individually. The tap version of side b is multihit, fantastic for large, fast falling or crouch cancel heavy characters as it traps them in the spin for as long as the move lasts for. The real strength of this is due to its ability to be jump canceled, starting on frame 7. This means that Sonic has all of his jump options available, such as a wavedash, jump cancel grab, short hop nair, short hop Blast Attack or jump cancel up smash. Additionally, if you press any attack button whilst still in the somersault animation, Sonic will perform a unique attack commonly referred to as the Baseball Slide which hits for semi high knockback and often setups up for offstage gimps against many characters. The held version of Somersault carries similar properties to the aerial version of the move, which I will talk about later on in this section.

    The most important thing to remember when using Somersault is to consider what options you have available and what is most effective on the character you are fighting at the current time. For instance, floaty characters like Jigglypuff will not crouch cancel your side special for very long and as such it is within your best interest to jump out of the move and chain it into Blast Attack then into another aerial for maximum damage, rather than attempt a jump cancel grab, which is effective against crouch canceling or faster falling characters. When going for aforementioned jump canceled grabs, be aware of what options the opponent has out of crouch cancel, notably the space animals' shines or Roy's down tilt/down smash. Sometimes it is more effective to wavedash back to bait the counterattack then punish with a grab or something similar. As such, you can use wavedashes out of Somersault as a pseudo waveshine on stage, useful for baiting attacks and for small amounts of burst movement. If you manage to drag opponents offstage with Somersault you can follow up with in similar ways as you would after a down throw at the ledge; aerials or Homing Attack generally. This is very important against fast fallers.

    In general, due to its 5 frame startup, Somersault can be used after aerials or when recovering from a tech chase in a shine-like fashion, quickly pressuring the opponent and preventing any form of counterattack. Any misspaced Somersault can generally be canceled safely with wavedash away or ledge dropping out of it; somersaulting off the ledge of a platform of the stage puts Sonic into a unique spinning animation which can then be canceled into wavelands or other movement options. It is often a good choice to cancel Somersault into the Baseball Slide when close to the ledge, which will push you offstage, allowing Sonic to succesfully escape a bad onstage situation and setting up a bair counterattack.

    The aerial version of Somersault is great for movement and recovery purposes. Upon activation Sonic will hop slightly in the air in a ball whilst moving forward if you hold the button down or travel on a diagonal angle downwards in a ball if you only tap the button. Both options have very flexible positioning parameters attached to them so it is quite easy to adjust trajectory accordingly whilst performing the move, whether that be drifting to grab the ledge or to land on a platform. Aerial Somersault transitions into the grounded version of the move once you touch the stage, meaning that it can be used as a way of moving Sonic in the air towards a platform quickly and then into a waveland, this is especially useful out of a spinshot and is a great recovery option to utilise. When performing aerial Somersault keep in mind that is not jump cancelable in the air as of 3.5 and the quickest way to end the animation is to pull back on the stick in the opposite direction you are performing the move; Sonic will halt his momentum then uncurl slowly. It is very important to use this cancel effectively or you can lose stocks due to the end lag of the move when not uncurled. Aerial Somersault only hits once, knocking opponents either in front or behind Sonic depending on where they hit him whilst he is in his ball formation. You can use this for gimps whilst traveling towards the stage but Somersault's end lag makes it almost impossible for this to be achievable whilst low offstage, so be vigilant of the opponent's position when jumping offstage to attempt this. Keep in mind that once Sonic is hit, he cannot perform Somersault again until he touches the ground so only use this move only when it is safe.

    You can also use Aerial Somersault to grab the ledge; if you run straight off the stage then hold side special towards the stage immediately after falling off you will grab the ledge. This is a quick way of grabbing the ledge if you feel uncomfortable with RAR wavedashes and it also spawns the Somersault hitbox for several frames which can result in gimps, just be prepared to pull back on the stick if the opponent edgehogs you as they recover or you will not be able to get enough height to reach the ledge with spring when you attempt to get back to the stage. This technique is shown in a gfycat above.

    The hold version of the grounded Somersault has identical properties to the aerial one and is great for catching opponents that like to short hop frequently. Since it only hits once the held Somersault is fantastic for leading into tech chases or vertical combos out of down tilt or uair. Somersault is a very flexible move and is often the crutch of Sonic's approach options in many matchups so mastering this move is pivotal to winning as Sonic.

    Down Special - Spin Charge

    7 frame startup
    60 frame maximum charge time
    Jumping hitbox active from frame 11
    Sonic curls up into a ball on the spot and can charge it for a moment before blasting off along the stage. A very versatile move, used frequently for both offensive and movement purposes. On the ground, this move can be charged for a maximum of 60 frames before Sonic forcibly shoots off in his ball form, the longer you charge this move affects the top speed and distance this move can reach. Once Sonic starts moving you have three options at your disposal; jumping, turning around and canceling the move into a skid. Jumping will generally be the most frequent option you will perform, however, unlike Somersault jumping out of Spin Charge puts Sonic into a unique jumping animation where he can heavily influence his horizontal momentum, I will explain more regarding this later on.

    As of 3.5, turning around during Spin Charge does not yield a hitbox which means it is now only useful for positioning purposes. Turning around during Spin Charge is primarily useful for RARs as it gives Sonic great horizontal momentum whilst also turning him around for back airs. You can also use the turn around to charge again at another attempt at an approach but this is very dangerous because it gives the opponent a large amount of time to react and defend accordingly and punish. You can also cancel out of a Spin Charge on the ground at any time except during a turnaround by pressing a shield button, this will result in a quick skid animation and Sonic will return to his idle pose. This is sometimes useful for linking into tilts but is extremely unsafe on shield so I suggest you practice hitconfirming with the Spin Charge hitbox before using this cancel technique frequently.

    Once you land Spin Charge's grounded hitbox on your opponent many combo possibilities are opened up. Assuming the move is not crouch canceled jumping out of Spin Charge will lift the opponent up with Sonic, usually leading into Sonic's aerials. At low percents RAR dair is a great combo starter if you land the spike hitbox and good at dealing damage regardless even if you land the horizontal hitbox instead. As percents rise more combos will become avaliable, some outright KOing the opponent. A good example of this is what Sonic mains like to call "The Sonic 3 Combo", that is, linking grounded Spin Charge into a neutral air. This will kill many characters beyond 90% as long as they do not SDI the jumping hitbox of Spin Charge. Another reliable combo against floaty characters is RAR jumping out of Spin Charge once you hit the opponent with the grounded hitbox then popping them up further with the jumping hitbox before double jumping and finishing them off with a bair; this combo used to be bread and butter in 3.0 but is now primarily useful only for KOing floaties at mid to high percents or fast fallers at extremely high percents.

    Aerial Spin Charge's hitbox is seldom useful for much, though you can link the initial hit into footstools against grounded opponents which opens up a plethora of options, this is very situational though so don't count on it working 100% of the time. You can also use the charging hitbox to drag people down offstage after putting them into a bad position after down throw or Somersault, again this is very situations so be careful with your application of it. What Aerial Spin Charge is good for, however, is for an advanced Sonic technique known as the spinshot, you can see a gfycat of this technique performed in the spoiler tag above. To perform a spinshot initiate Spin Charge then quickly jump out of it by either hitting a jump button or up on the stick. (I personally prefer the latter) Be aware that this technique consumes your double jump.

    Spinshot is Sonic's primary recovery option in most facets of his offstage game as it gives him the maximum vertical height of his double jump whilst also yielding huge horizontal momentum and distance. You can perform any of Sonic's aerial options after spinshotting and for this reason it is useful for many situations. Onstage Sonic can use spinshot to cross up opponents above their shields and then mixup with other specials or aerials behind them. You can combine Somersaults platform ledge cancels with spinshots for extremely deceptive movement that is easily cancelable into any of Sonic's offensive options, making it an aerial dash dances of sorts. You will find that correct use of this technique will make it very hard for opponents to read your next move and can often lead to hasty aerials or laggy moves from them, allowing you a free punish. Just be careful though, as getting hit of spinshot means you may end up offstage without a double jump.

    Up Special - Spring Jump

    Spring spawned on frame 7
    49 Frame duration
    Sonic summons a spring beneath him which propels him up a set distance in the air. When performing this move Sonic halts all horizontal momentum he has and goes straight up, once you reach the apex of the move you will begin to have control of your horizontal momentum unless you perform an aerial. As displayed in the two gfycats in the spoiler above, performing an aerial during Spring grants Sonic extra horizontal distance because he begins to move earlier than the apex of the jump due to the aerial coming out as the IASA frames begin, which in itself is earlier than the apex of the jump. Aerial Spring also acts as a projectile, falling until it disappears into the bottom blast zone or bounces onstage.

    Onstage Sonic's Spring is good for chasing up opponents above him into uairs or bairs. On certain characters Sonic can uair the opponent up to 5 times through smart platform usage and double jump uair + Spring uair. As percents rise double jump uair will not be enough to reach opponents after launching them up with moves such as meteor fair, down tilt or up tilt and you will have to spring uair them to reach them before hitstun wears off. You can play around with grounded spring as it will stay on the ground for roughly 4 and a half seconds before disappearing. Moves such as held Somersault or the dair spike can push your opponent into grounded spring which then can be followed up by spring uair, resulting in very early star KOs.

    Spring can also be used to escape combos, similar to Game & Watch's up special, Fire. This means that during gaps in opponent's strings Sonic can launch out of the way of future attacks and then dair to reset the neutral. Be careful with your timing of dair, it can be very predictable and smarter opponents can bait your use of this and punish accordingly. Sometimes it is safer to drift back onstage or to the ledge.

    Offfstage Spring is very deadly to certain characters due to the hitbox's gimping potential. Proper spacing of this tool can be detrimental to the recoveries of characters such as Roy, Fox, Captain Falcon or Diddy Kong. This move will send opponents in a diagonal direction opposite to the side Spring hit them on, meaning proper spacing of this move is required lest the opponent techs on the wall and recovers safely. You can use the Spring intially by jumping offstage and using the move as a projectile normally or after a failed bair/fair edgeguard attempt as a second measure to both recover yourself back to the stage and also gimp the opponent. Most recoveries that have hitboxes will eat straight through this move (Cypher, Firefox, Spinning Kong, Whirling Fortress etc.) so proper timing is required if you want it to successfully land; heavy practice is required if you want to learn the spacing requirements of this move so attempt this techique when you can because mastery of Spring can result in gimps as low as 15%.


    [​IMG]

    1. Movement

    As I'm sure you know by now, Sonic has the fastest run speed in the game and it is up to the player to utilise this speed and translate it into deceptive movement that will be fruitful in both your neutral game and punish game. There isn't an exact way that I would advise a Sonic player should be moving but it is important to understand what movement options Sonic has available to him and why they are useful.

    Dash Dancing and Sprinting
    Sonic's dash dance is very flexible as his long initial dash animation allows the player to mix up the length and duration of each dash before starting another. Whilst not the fastest in the game, the sheer length of the dash allows Sonic to actively invade space and bait out attacks on a much larger scale than characters with shorter and quicker dash dances such as Captain Falcon. Sonic's run speed is the highest in the game which means that followups and punishes from full-stage distances are very possible.

    Wavedashing
    Sonic's wavedash, whilst not the longest one in the game, is still very useful and using it in conjunction with dash dances is very important to throw the other player off more. Also using it out of of the Somersault (Side Special) is pivotal for canceling your momentum and resetting the situation.

    Wavelanding
    Sonic's jumps are very fast and very high; you can quickly waveland on and off platforms around the stage and convert this movement into speedy grounded approaches or aerials off the platforms which may lead into grabs/kill moves. Sonic excels in this area as the majority of his momentum is carried from his dash to his jump. It is important to use this in order to form approaches versus characters with heavy projectile usage. As mentioned in the Somersault section, you can also waveland out of aerial Somersault once you hit the ground, which is an amazing movement option.

    Spin Charge Jumps and Cancels
    The Spin Charge gives Sonic a burst of movement, even when uncharged. Whilst it is slightly slower than his run speed, his aerial movement during the spin charge jump is unmatched by any other movement option he has, this is especially useful for option coverage after up throw or edgeguarding/deceptive movement. I speak more about this in the Spin Charge section.

    Spinshot
    Performing a double jump during the initial charge animation of Spin Charge in the air will give Sonic a huge boost in both vertical and horizontal momentum, allowing him to move inbetween platforms or follow up combos when no other option would give him the leeway. I talk about this extensively in the Spin Charge section.

    Moonwalking
    Sonic's moonwalk is by far the largest in the game, almost pushing him an entire half stage length of Pokémon Stadium 2. Sonic can use repeated moonwalks as a baiting tactic and cancel them into Dash attack, a run or jump. Offensively, Sonic can also use any standing option after performing the full moonwalk, this means an almost full stage forward tilt poke or forward/down smash killing move. I will talk more about the jumping momentum use of this move in the edgeguarding section.

    It is important to frequently practice these movement options as they will form the very core of your gameplay with Sonic. Drill these techniques into your mind and force yourself to perform them in matches until it becomes a habit.

    2. Recovery

    Sonic's recovery is very, very flexible and there are many ways that a Sonic player can make it back to the stage safely but is important to mix up these options lest you be read and lose a stock. It is important to build knowledge as to what characters can punish certain recovery pathways and what alternatives you have. I will speak further about which options are effective in each matchup in the matchup section. Here's a list of Sonic's recovery tools and what they can be used for.

    Spin Shot [DJ out of Down B Charge]
    This should be your first recovery option if you have a double jump left. Sonic will curl up for a small period of time then launch himself up and forward at high speed. This cancels any knockback momentum you may be carrying and will propel you in the opposite direction, allowing yourself the flexibility to chose other options to land back on stage. This is B reversible as well.

    Somersault [Side B]
    Once his primary recovery option in previous versions, is now something you should use only in moderation. Side B is mostly used when you have traded offstage and no longer have a double jump left as it will gain you some horizontal momentum needed in order to sweetspot Spring. It is important to pull back on the stick to end the animation several moments after starting the move because it is not jump cancelable and you will self destruct.

    Homing Attack [Neutral B]
    Only use this move after a spinshot or any other form of deceptive recovery options as it is easily read and will only succeed if you successfully bait your opponent into a position where the homing attack will lock on. Use this sparingly as failing it will usually end in a self destruct. I suggest going into training mode and memorizing the range of this move in case you wish to use this option.

    Spring [Up B]
    The most obvious recovery tool. Sonic launches upward and drops a spring beneath him. The most important thing to remember here is that using an aerial as soon as the IASA frames become available will give you increased aerial speed and you will be able to move further horizontally, this is especially important when recovering extremely high and also for baiting the edgeguarding character to throw out a move (Eg. Marth's forward smash). A very useful technique is to spring in a position that will put Sonic slightly above the ledge and then either bair or fair as soon as you can; the speed of spring often catches your opponent offguard and you can land the aerial and then chase up afterwards. Spring also doesn't sweetspot very easily so I suggest you only go for that option when you absolutely need to, if that is so then be ready to ledge tech.

    Here are several flowcharts of ways you can make it back to the stage;

    Recovering Low

    Side B (Pull back cancel) > Spring > Fair/Sweetspot
    This will generally be your most frequently used strategy to get back on stage if you do not have a double jump left. If you are forced to ledge tech walljump because of an onstage attack then I advise you homing attack directly after and it will home on the edgeguarding player and land you back on stage.

    Recovering High

    Spinshot > Spring > Dair
    This will probably become your most often used way to land back on the stage due to how safe dair can be when spaced correctly. Space your spinshot so the animation ends when you're close to the stage then spring and dair so you land back on the stage. Be sure to L Cancel the dair or you'll be eating a hefty punish.

    Spinshot > Side B Hold > Wavedash on platform or on stage
    A daring way of landing back on stage and is generally fairly safe against slower characters and/or stages with high platforms.

    Spinshot > Homing Attack
    Use this option as quickly as you can as you can be easily hit if you linger around too long in the air after the spinshot.

    3. Edgeguarding

    One of Sonic's greatest strengths is his ability to edgeguard. As a Sonic main, one of your goals should be to get the other player offstage and wall them out, using all your amazing tools to prevent them from landing back on the stage. There are many different ways that a Sonic player can edgeguard and it is pivotal to make use of all your options in order to land successful punishes. I will speak about what methods work for certain characters in the matchup section. Here's a list of some of the options a Sonic player has at his disposal.

    Grabbing the Ledge
    Like every character, grabbing the ledge prevents the other player from grabbing it themselves and recovering onstage. Sonic has several ways he can achieve this as other characters do, such as wavedash back, RAR wavedash or backflip. However, Sonic has access to his side b hold edgegrab; This is very quick and reliable and it also spawns a hitbox which can trade with some of the more open recoveries (Falcon, Ice Climbers etc) You can find a gfycat of this in the Somersault section.

    Walling out with Aerials
    Sonic can achieve high mileage through his bair and fair respectively in order to pressure an opponent offstage. Moonwalk bair is reliable against some of the more linear recoveries and you can chase them up with a fair afterwards if they manage to recover under you. Sonic's down special jump on stage also yields huge height and speed, meaning a RAR out of it can position Sonic in the perfect position for a bair far offstage. You can mixup your aerial coverage as well with spring to aerials and other special mixups.

    Homing Attack
    The infamous Sonic edgeguard. Be very careful with this one as overuse and misspacing of this move can often lead to a suicide. The safest situation in which this move is useful is after a down throw at the ledge, as opponents general cannot afford to mix up their recovery in order to dodge the homing attack and you get a free followup. A good way to option select your survival if the beacon doesn't home is to prime a B turnaround before initiating the homing attack by smashing the stick towards the stage briefly before pressing neutral B. Homing Attack is very important in some matchups offstage, which I will go more into depth later on in the matchup section.


    [​IMG]

    Bottom Row

    [​IMG] Yoshi's Story

    Somewhat a bad stage for Sonic. This stage inhibits Sonic's movement due to its small size and the platform heights aren't the best for Sonic's movement aside from uair chains. I suggest you only go to this stage when it inhibits another character more than yourself (Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff) Also something worth noting is that it is impossible to sweetspot the ledge with Spring due to how close the bottom blast zone is, this is very bad and it forces you to recover in other ways meaning that it is easy for the opponent to read your recovery path. If I have three bans I generally ban this stage.

    [​IMG] Green Hill Zone

    Sonic's home turf and a bit of an oddball in terms of how Sonic performs on it. In most matchups I do not suggest you go to this stage due to its small size which prevents Sonic from baiting at a large distance in addition of having no immediate platfrom to escape to the majority of the time. One benefit of this stage to Sonic is its walls which gives Sonic another option to recover through his walljump. This stage also has a high ceiling so you will KO later than usual with your Spring combos.

    [​IMG] Smashville

    A stage that is generally good for Sonic in most matchups. The large space gives Sonic plenty of room to run around and the platform helps with that movement as well. The blastzones are fairly average so you will not exceed with KOing in any direction more than usual. Keep in mind that the platform can sometimes help opponents escape your up throw combos and that some characters heavily benefirt from the large space more than Sonic does. (Snake, Captain Falcon, Fox etc.)

    [​IMG] Battlefield

    Sonic's second best stage. The platforms are at a perfect height for wavelands and deceptive movement whilst also being great tools for drop down aerials and specials after running off the platform. The height is a touch lower than some of the other starter stages and this is accentuated by the top platform aiding with uair combos. This stage is one of my go to options in many matchups but I would not suggest taking characters with extreme poking/camping abilities under platforms to this stage (Zelda, Marth etc.)

    [​IMG] Pokémon Stadium 2

    A favourite for many players in Project M. As for many other characters, Sonic is fairly average on this stage; the wide open space is great for baiting and movement and the two platforms also help with movement and combos. The low ceiling is both a weakness and a strength for Sonic; you will find that your uair KO options are much more powerful on this stage but a lot of characters will kill you extremly early due to your light weight. Do not take other characters with great camping abilities and powerful upward KO moves to this stage. (Fox, Luigi etc.)

    [​IMG] Delfino's Secret

    This stage is strange for Sonic and is only good in certain matchups when the stage is in certain layouts. The platforms are good tools for Sonic to use in terms of movement and the large area is great for baiting attacks. The problem innately here is that some transformations can heavily benefit the opponent and inhibit lots of Sonic's tools. I don't have any solid opinions yet regarding what characters I would counterpick this stage to as of yet so I encourage you all to experiment with the option.

    [​IMG] Dreamland 64

    Sonic's best stage. This stage offers the Battlefield layout which is fantastic for Sonic's movement whilst also being very open and as such fantastic for baits and deceptive approaches. Sonic can also gimp opponents very low down below the stage reliably without killing himself, which is generally impossible on other stages. The only downside of Dreamland is the high ceiling which means that uair will not kill until much later, the other benefits of Dreamland, however, lessen the importance of this fact as Sonic can win the neutral game with greater ease due to the stage's layout.

    Middle Row

    [​IMG] Lylat Cruise

    This stage has almost disappeared from most relevant stagelists around the world but you may end up in a region where it is still legal (for some odd reason) so it is still worth discussing. Lylat is alright for Sonic, the platforms are in good positions for his movement and the stage itself is fairly wide, which allows for big reads and punishes from a distance. The blastzones are fairly average so you won't be KOing in any different fashion on this stage. I find this stage uncomfortable due to the strange nature of the ledges so I wouldn't go to this stage personally. If you don't have this same stigma then I encourage you play on this stage to see how it benefits your own playstyle.

    [​IMG] WarioWare Inc.

    Unlike Battlefield, the platform layout on this stage isn't particuarly amazing for Sonic at all and the extremely close blastzones on all four sides means that Sonic will die very early due to his light weight. I suggest you only counterpick to this stage against characters that lose more options than Sonic in the confined space, similar to Yoshi's Story (Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff). Otherwise, ban this stage.

    [​IMG] Fountain of Dreams

    Sonic's worst stage. The platform layout is detrimental to many of Sonic's combos and can interrupt many spin attempts which can result in you being punished. The ceiling is quite high which means that Sonic's uair KOs are not very effective. I always ban this stage.

    [​IMG] Final Destination

    This stage isn't particuarly bad or good for Sonic, but useful against slow opponents that dont have particuarly good anti air options (Link, King Dedede etc.) I like to counterpick to this stage when I know I can cross up and reliably approach from the air without being interrupted.

    [​IMG] Yoshi's Island

    Whilst this stage isn't being phased out in some rulesets, Yoshi's Island is a fairly average stage for Sonic. The middle platform is great for tech chases out of up throw and the curvature of the stage means that Spin Charge will increase in speed as Sonic traverses down the slope. I do not suggest going to this stage against characters that have bad recoveries as they can be helped by the support ghost; Sonic has a fantastic recovery so the support ghost will likely be more useful to your opponent than to you.

    [​IMG] Distant Planet

    A fairly good stage for Sonic. The large area is good for Sonic's movement and the platform layout helps with escaping pressure on stage. The leaves aren't particuarly bad for Sonic either and helps with recovering high. None of the stagelists in Australia feature this stage so I don't have huge competitive data on the viability of counterpicking here but I suggest you all give it a go.

    [​IMG] Norfair

    This stage is somewhat average for Sonic. The platforms can be helpful or hazardous to Sonic depending on their layout and the blastzones are also quite average. I do think that the large space both on the ground and in the air is great for Sonic as it allows you to move about on the platforms without fear of being caught; Sonic can traverse between the two easily through use of Somersault.

    [​IMG]

    This section was unfortuantely unable to be finished in time for my release of this guide. For now please check out my AMA on reddit for more information! Myself and some of the other top Sonic players are looking into some sort of a formulated matchup discussion schedule. When this is worked out I will begin to add matchup data to this section. Thanks everyone!

    Conclusion and Special Thanks

    Special Thanks to...

    My Fellow Sonic Players

    GabPR, Ariyo, JFyst, Motobug, NyTRO, Vultron, Krumpberry, Bassinium and Lex.

    Without these guys a lot of my ideas wouldn't have been consolidated as they are now. I've had many great conversations with these guys over the times which I'm very thankful for. I'm especially grateful to Bassinium, whom without I would have lost motivation to write this guide.

    Other Sydney Power Ranked Players

    Luxingo, Cunchy, Zxv, Summoner, Ted, RCJay and Unreon.

    Thank you to each and every single of one of you for helping me improve so heavily and giving me the thrill of the fight in tournament. It's always a pleasure to play any of you and discuss our progress and the game itself.

    Notable People that Have Helped Me Improve

    Splice, Jamwa, Tyler, Noserus and Savvas.

    All of you have helped me a lot one way or another in terms of my mental or matchup problems with Smash in general and I'm very grateful for your support. Thanks guys.

    Guide Related Help

    Sethlon, Shane (Poob), Sartron and 1MachGo.

    Sethlon, thanks for giving me permission to use your guide as a rough base for the creation for mine; it really helped with structure and making the guide look nice. Shane, your guide and way of speaking is very inspirational and I found that your way of articulating your thoughts was very helpful to developing my own guide, thanks dude. Sartron, thanks for letting me use your Hitbox gifs and frame data, it makes describing moves so much more practical. Thanks also to 1MachGo for your statistical data!

    I hope you all enjoyed the guide everyone, if you want to get further information on Project M Sonic I suggest you check out the character's boards.

    Please follow me on Twitter @Star_SSB :)

Recent Reviews

  1. BlackPhantom
    BlackPhantom
    5/5,
    So much info...
  2. StephenCP
    StephenCP
    5/5,
    i was linked to this guide a couple months ago when i used to main sonic. just wanted to say, it was really great! the writing is great, and easy to follow. thanks!
  3. GabPR
    GabPR
    5/5,
    Great introduction guide that lays out the general basics with great detail for up and coming Sonic players.
  4. DD_
    DD_
    5/5,
    This is by no means a shallow guide. I can feel the passion and dedication you have put into this game and character. Any and every aspiring Sonic main should read this guide at least once.
  5. Wild Whirlwind
    Wild Whirlwind
    5/5,
    One word: damn.
  6. Cat.Tactix
    Cat.Tactix
    5/5,
    This is very well written. This guide will help me out in my sonic game and in practicing.
  7. Motobug
    Motobug
    5/5,
    whoops forgot to rate this when it came out

    This is a super good guide. It perfectly describes all of Sonic's beginner and advanced techniques and is a good guide for both beginners and experienced players to read.
  8. Avro-Arrow
    Avro-Arrow
    5/5,
    You put a lot of work into this and it shines through! There were very few grammatical errors and it was structured well. As far as the content goes, I was most interested in the stage striking section and found that you were able to sum up Sonic's effectiveness on each stage clearly and concisely. Personally, I'd have liked to see some analysis into playing neutral game against top tier characters/his poor matchups but as you said you ran out of time and that's understandable. I could have given it four stars because of this but it was definitely better than "good."

    I look forward to seeing you some more around the Sonic boards! Good luck and great job!
  9. Axitonium
    Axitonium
    5/5,
    Best sonic guide ever
  10. N810
    N810
    5/5,
    This is excellent. I can't wait to adding this information to my Sonic game. You bring up some much I haven't thought of and in extreme detail. Awesome work Star. Here's to your success as well as the Sonic's reading this guide.
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