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Flatten The Competition: A Game and Watch Guide


“Mr. Game & Watch's metagame is thus quite undeveloped compared to other Melee characters, and he has one of the worst representations in tournaments of all the characters, including the bottom tiers, as almost no active Smasher plays him consistently; he has made almost no impact in the top 96 placements of major, international tournaments, and seldom even places in regionals. As such, even though he is in the B tier, he has by far one of the smallest notable player bases.”

Welcome to the new Game and Watch guide! The purpose of this guide is to change that quote.

How will that happen? It's time to properly explore our two dimensional friend to the fullest by providing a brand new guide with everything we know and find about about G&W. Hopefully better accessibility of information can help new and old players alike who choose G&W find everything they need to play this character and be successful. I may not be a famous Game and Watch main, but I hope my efforts for compiling as much data as I could can help anyone who chooses Game and Watch have a chance to reach for the stars!

Table Of Contents
[collapse=Table Of Contents]


A Glance At Game and Watch
-In General
-Tier List Overview

Moveset Analysis
-Basic Attacks
-Aerial Attacks
-Special Attacks


Basic Edgeguarding

-Dreamland 64
-Final Destination
-Fountain of Dreams
-Yoshi's Story
-Pokemon Stadium

Doubles Only
-Donkey Kong 64

Other Stages:
-Mute City

Matchup Tips

What About Doubles?


A Glance At Game and Watch
[collapse=A Glance At Game and Watch]

Powerful killing moves
Moves with long durations
OHKO Moves (Judge and Oil Panic)
Unusual properties in his moveset
Several disjointed attacks
Grab game with chaingrab, combo, and mindgame potential
Good edge-guarding game
Good combo potential
Most people don't who how to play against G&W
So few G&W players (a pro for those who like to be unique)


Awful to approach with
Easily combo'd
Bad defensive game (bad sheild, poor OOS options, bad roll and sidestep)
Slow overall movement
Second lightest character in the game makes it hard to live long
Predictable recovery
Only two of his aerial attacks can be L-canceled

In General:

Game and Watch is going to take some work. You'll need to work around his bad defense, so master light shielding and learn how to properly wave dash. Whenever you can, try to avoid attacks instead of shielding. G&W is light, your DI needs to be spot on to keep him in the fight. The bad news: you can only L-cancel 2 attacks. The good news: you only need to learn the L-cancel timing for 2 attacks so LEARN THE TIMING PERFECTLY, you'll need to. Master your combos (see the combo section). Learn how to edge-guard and what works best on who (also comes later). And most importantly, always get a 9 when you need it with Judge (luck is a practicable skill right?)

Tier List Overview:

Game and Watch is currently ranked 22nd on the tier list for a reason, but it's not like he doesn't have potential. He has 5 positive matchups (though are are against low tiers: Mewtwo, Ness, Bowser, Pichu, and Kirby) and a couple even matchups (Roy and Yoshi). He's only a little disadvantaged in more matchups then you'd imagine with 10 matchups as a -1 (Ice Climbers, Dr. Mario, Pikachu, Samus, Luigi, Mario, Young Link, Link, Donkey Kong, and Zelda) and if we properly explore, maybe we can turn those numbers around![/collapse]

Moveset Analysis
[collapse=Moveset Analysis]
A few notes on this section. I will rate each move in terms of how useful it is our of five :gawmelee:s, and give an explanation on uses for the move as well as its technical data. Even moves with a low ranking however can have their uses, some are just more situational then others so just because I rank a move low doesn't mean you should never use it. The gifs of the moves are also at 1/3 speed.

Basic Attacks:

[collapse=Basic Attacks]
Jab (Greenhouse)


Frame Data:
Total: 17
Hit: 4-6
IASA: 16
Window for next blast: 3-16

Damage: 1-3% per hit

Rapid Jab


Total: 13
Hit: 5-7

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee:

Your jab is a rather valuable tool. It's great for getting combos (jab to grab), for helping string combos, and you will find it's a very helpful tool in most match ups. Don't just spam it, but be sure to use it well. Also, watch that .gif of the hitbox carefully. The move actually has hitboxes behind G&W. This can be used in some situational cases, so remember it and learn its uses.

A few notes on the rapid jab.
  1. Why are you using rapid jab?
  2. If you are using rapid jab, remember it has a bit of lag before you get out of it
  3. The rapid jab hits are not synced up properly with its hitboxes. His seventh jab hitbox happens slightly before the animation, so where the 8th hitbox should be there is none. The jab animation happens seven times, then it repeats the cycle. I doubt you'll run into this almost ever, but it's important to know.
In short, the rapid jab isn't that great, so just take one puff at a time (heh heh)

Dash Attack (Helmet)


Total: 37
Hit: 6-29

Damage: 9%


Summary: It has the possibility of clanking with lots of things including some stuff from Marth's sword even. It has potential to combo and can manage to rack damage as well. You gotta be careful to use this and try to only do it when you can get away with it. Try to hit with the end of attack to have minimal lag. This attacks has low knockback will send the opponent behind you.

Utilt (Flagman)


Total: 29
Hit: 9-29

Damage: 9%

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee:

Summary: This covers a great area above you and is great for juggling and combos. It's got great priority and isn't easy to get through for the opponent coming in from above. Besides, it's nice to show off how you are Number 1 Right?

FTilt (Chair Thrust)


Total: 44
Hit: 13-30
IASA: 42

Damage: 10%

Rating: :gawmelee:

Summary: An Ftilt that's like a sex kick, damage will last as long as it's out. It has long range, but the start up can take quite a while. It's rather situational, it can create space but there are better options. You should mostly use it during edge-guarding.

DTilt (Manhole)


Total: 29
Hit: 6-13
IASA: 26

Damage: 12%


Summary: I really think this could be G&W's best move. A great combo starter, great for edge-guarding, and it can even KILL (above 100%). You will be using this a lot so make friends, have a sleep over at its house, but don't you dare try to take it away from me, its mine. (My wife is jealous, but still.) Don't forget that by mashing A you can keep flipping the manhole.

Fsmash (Fire Attack)


Total: 44
Charge Frame: 8
Hit: 13-33
IASA: 42

Damage: 17-24% initial hit, 6% second hit


Summary: Your best smash, your fastest and strongest smash, and has the third highest knockback of any smash in the game. This move is great for killing, nailing someone to get them offstage, and the hitboxes stay out for a while which can be quite useful. And don't forget how satisfying it is to land.

Dsmash (Vermin)


Total: 34
Charge Frame: 8
Hit: 15-19

Damage: 8-22% Sweetspot - 5-14% at handles


Summary: If you are using this, you probably should be using Dtilt. There are exceptions, as you can wave dash into it to reduce startup and hitting them with the tip which can be used in some matchups. Still, if you can use Dtilt go for it first.

Usmash (Octopus)


Total: 44
Charge Frame: 18
Hit: 24-28
Head (but not nose) invincible: 24-28
IASA: 40

Damage: 14-24%

Rating: :gawmelee:

Summary: It's strong but slow making it hard to use. If you know where your opponent is going give this one a shot. It works best when someone is defenseless over you or someone is using their up special to recover over the ledge. It feels SOOOOOO good to land!

Aerial Attacks:

[collapse=Aerial Attacks]
Nair (Parachute)


Total: 44
Hit: 20-29
Auto cancel: <2
Landlag: 15
L canceled: CAN’T

Damage: 16%


Summary: The strongest Nair of Melee and competes for the strongest aerial in Melee. Who said G&W had nothing going for him? Seriously, this thing has great knockback, it's good for killing, and dat hitbox! It can't be L-canceled sadly, but 15 frames of landing lag isn't honestly that bad. You'll be using this a lot, just be careful with the start up lag, the parachute must be out completely before it does damage. It will be tempting to use this alone, but try to use it more for for combos or to edge-guard.

Also just in case anyone is coming here from Brawl, the parachute doesn't slow you down or make you float, thought to let you go!

Fair (Mario's Cement Factory)


Total: 44
Hit: 10-32
Auto cancel: <2
Landlag: 25
L canceled: 12

Damage: 16% at start, 6% near end

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee:

Summary: This is your primary weapon. You really need to be sure you L-cancel it properly though, so get the timing down!!! You will be using this to combo, approach, even edge-guard at times so know this move like you know Dtilt, maybe even better. But you can have Fair as your own, just remember Dtilt is mine.


Anyways, you can also chain these things together with each other too so don't forget it. You need to know this move to perfection. Hopefully I humorously got it across.

Bair (Turtle Bridge)


Total: 39
Hit: 10-21
Auto cancel: <9
Landlag: 18
L canceled: CAN’T
Landing hit hits on frame 1

Damage: up to 18%

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee:

Summary: Multi-hitting, disjointed, but can't be L-canceled... Bummer. This means it's a decent move but you need to be careful and try to use it in the air where you know you can get to safety. The very end of it does have some knockback so use that to your advantage to keep safe. Don't be stupid and use it super close to the ground or unsafely, you're going to end up being shield-grabbed and/or punished hard. It can be good if you BE SMART.

Uair (Spitball Sparky)


Total: 39
Hit: 7-16, 21-22
Auto cancel: <6
Landlag: 18
L canceled: CAN’T

Damage: 15% total damage

Rating: :gawmelee:

Summary: This move isn't that great. It can be used to juggle and start a few combos but since it can't be L-canceled, you probably have better options. You probably want to use full hop then use this into another move you can cancel/combo with. Use with intelligence when you plan to use it.

Dair (Key Strike)


Total: 49
Hit: 12-38
Auto cancel: <5
Ground hit hits on first 2 frames
Landlag: 20
L canceled: 10

Damage: 14%, another 5-6% on landing, possible 19-20% total

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee:

Summary: If the move hits right as it come out, enjoy your Meteor Strike! This thing can be worth a SHFFL but don't try to abuse it too much as G&W doesn't have that great of a SHFFL. You gotta L-cancel this or you will get seriously punished. This can work to start combos and as a part of them as well. You'll use this a good bit so learn it well, just be smart with it.



Neutral Special (Chef)


1st sausage release: 18
Pan hits: 18-21
Window for next B hit: 20-34
B hit sets to frame 3
Last frame: 49
A Sausage lasts 80 frames or until it

Damage: 3% sausage 9% pan

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee::gawmelee:

Summary: I might be rating this move a bit high, but I see it has potential. It can create some good mind games, can set you up for better edge-guards (though it's not easy, just be smart) and don't forget the Pan Spike! You gotta be close, but using it to "send them down in a blaze of greasy fat and humiliation" (couldn't have put it better alphameric) is awesome. This move can cancel jumps as well, use it to your advantage.

Forward Special (Judge)

1-8 hammer

9 hammer


9 hammer (hitbox is smaller than 1-8)
Total: 49
Hit: 16-29

Rating: :??::gawmelee::??::gawmelee::??:

One of G&W's most famous moves for it's possibility to be a OHKO. For those who don't know what all the numbers do, here's a quick rundown.

[collapse=Hammer Time!]
1- It does 2% damage if it hits, has no knockback, and doesn't even make the opponent flinch, Worse, it does 12% damage to yourself whether it hits or not.

2- A weak attack that only does 4% damage with minimal knockback

3- An attack that does 6% damage that launches the opponent backwards and does significant shield damage.

4- An attack that does 8% damage. This attack launches opponents up diagonally like when you forward tilt with a Beam Sword.

5- This attack hits with four electrical charges each of which does 3% damage for a total of 12%

6- 12% damage with a flaming attack, this has strong horizontal knockback and is a semi-spike (if you're lucky enough to land it on a recovering opponent, it can be deadly)

7- 14% damage. If you are playing with items on, you will also get food as long as you use this attack on the ground.

8- Freeze your opponent knocking them up slightly for 4% damage, get ready to follow up!

9- 32% damage and can kill in the SINGLE DIGITS OF PERCHENTAGES. Seriously. However, the hitbox for it is slightly smaller so be careful.[/collapse]

There are also a few more mechanics you should be made aware of involving what numbers can come up on the hammer. HUGE NOTE: THE NUMBERS ARE NOT JUST RANDOM! This is a rumor I know some people still believe and this needs to be fixed, there are parameters to what number you will get.

  • G&W cannot get a number used that was used in either of the two previous uses for the move. (Ex: getting a five means the next two times you use the move you will not get a five.)
  • At the start of the match, the two previous uses are set to 1 and 2. (This means the first use cannot be a 1, and the first two uses cannot be a 2.)
  • A death (fall or SD) will reset the rules currently applied to #3.
  • So long as the forward B animation starts, it will count as the next number. In other words: If you input forward B on frame 1 and are hit on frame 2, it'll still count as the number coming out.

In summary: minus the two unavailable numbers, each other number has a 1/7 chance of landing.

What does all that mean for you? First off, the first hammer you use during the match will not hurt you, as well as the first hammer each time you die. So for those who aren't willing to risk taking 12% at all, you at least have a 1-7 shot of a OHKO at least three times.

For those who like to push their luck, this means every time you hit a 9 you need to use Judge at least 2 more times before you can get a 9 again. So if you were fortunate enough to get the OHKO, a good idea while the enemy is respawning is to hit your hammer once or twice if possible.

If you had the bad luck of getting a 1, at least you know you have two more free shots without one.

AND if you practice being lucky (which is totally possible) you do have a chance of NEVER hitting a 1 the entire match. If you don't practice being lucky hard enough however (shame on you!), you may not get a single 9 the whole match. Sound like the lottery? You might always win, and you might always lose.

Now we need to be realistic. Unless you have a big lead, are very behind, or can combo into it, DO NOT USE THE HAMMER. This isn't a move you should just be throwing out hoping to land. You are going to be tempted by the possible damage and hype this can cause but don't be stupid.

To effectively use this move you also have to be ready for what each hammer can provide to you. Each hammer can have special combos and can set you up to be in different situations. Go to training mode, land hammer and react. You should be able to see a number and instantly know what to do.I can't truly rate this attack. It depends so much on how you want to play, if you want to push your luck, and how it all turns out. This attack might completely win you a match or completely loose it for you. It's rating really depends on your playstyle and luck, choose for yourself.

[collapse=Random Fact]
An incredibly out there but curious note, random number generators have a possibility of being effected by strong emotional responses. Seriously, you can read about here. So in theory with enough hype you will get more 9s. You are welcome for this tip that will obviously take the G&W metagame by storm. ;) [/collapse]

Down Special (Oil Panic)




Total (minimum): 49
Starts absorbing: 5
If you keep holding, it loops
from frames 5-37. When you release,
it keeps up until the loop runs out.

When it stops "catching", 12 frames
of lag

When a projectile is caught, 25
frames of invincibility, then the
loop starts again

Hit: 2-37

Damage: 2.8 times the combined damage of the absorbed attacks to a Maximum 200%

(An awesome likely damage chart to come!)

[collapse=What You Can And Can't Bucket]

▪ Samus' missiles and mines
▪ Anything from Peach
▪ Anything from Link or Y.Link
▪ Sheiks broken needles
▪ Yoshis eggs
▪ Mewtwos forward throw
▪ GAWs oil panic

▪ Doc/Mario/Luigi's pills/fireballs
▪ Bowser's fire
▪ Falco/Foxes lasers
▪ Ness' pk flash/thunder/fire
▪ IC ice blocks
▪ Samus' charge shot
▪ Zelda's fireball
▪ Pichu/Pikachus thunder and thunder jolt
▪ Mewtwos shadowball
▪ Kirbys final cutter shockwave
▪ GAWs bacon[/collapse]

Rating: :gawmelee:

Summary: This one does depend on the matchup, but it's still slow and risky. It'll let you stall in the air a bit, but that wont help you outside of mindgames as you try to get back to the ledge. While that is useful on occation, it's just not THAT great.

Catching items just takes too long, and you are likely to get punished each time you do so. Being a light character that is easy to combo, you can see the problem with handing out free punishes. And after you are punished probably 3 times, you have to land a hit to even get them back. It's not worth it.

It MIGHT have its place in teams, but honestly it's not even great in that setting. You still will probably get punished and only get one kill MAYBE.

Also you need to be aware of the Kamikaze Glitch in case you decide to use this anyways. Unless you want to kill yourself in a humiliating but cool looking fashion, but I doubt you want that to happen. Just check that article out. Please.

Up Special (Fireman)


Total: 39
Hit: 1-37
Landlag: 40
Landfallspeciallag: 6

Damage: 6%

Rating: :gawmelee::gawmelee:

Summary: Obviously made for recovery, it still has other uses. You can try to get someone on the very top of the screen or use it as a desperate or clever escape for examples. It can actually be managed in combos if you're crazy/awesome enough.

LEARN HOW TO SWEET SPOT THE LEDGE! It's not going to be easy, but it's so worth it if you do. Check out the stages section for more info.





Total: 30
Grab: 7-8

Dash Grab


Total: 40
Grab: 11-12

This section could use some data and pictures, anyone who could help with that would be great!


Damage: 2-3% per pummel

Mr. Game & Watch pulls out a bell and hits the opponent with it. Somewhat slow for a pummel. 2-3% per pummel.


Damage: 4-8%

Ball - Mr. Game & Watch juggles the enemy as a ball, then launches the opponent forwards. 4-8% damage.


Damage: 4-8%

Ball - Mr. Game & Watch juggles the enemy as a ball, then launches the opponent backwards. 4-8%.


Damage: 4-8%

Ball - Mr. Game & Watch juggles the enemy as a ball, then launches the opponent upwards. Only up throw in the game to release opponent at an angle. Can chaingrab fastfallers. 4-8% damage.


Damage: 4-8%

Ball - Mr. Game & Watch juggles the enemy as a ball, then launches the opponent downwards. Above 100%, it can chaingrab fastfallers. 4-8% damage inflicted.

Hey, see that repetition? IT's all so similar! SO USE IT FOR MINDGAMES!!! Where is the opponent going? Only you know. So use that to your advantage. This can lead to some awesome chaingrabs at mid % against fastfallers. Another cool thing, if you grab your opponent near the edge they might be expecting an up throw. It's a good thing they can't tell which way you're throwing them, so toss them off the stage. If they DI for the up throw they will be flung pretty far making edge-guarding that much easier. This is especially great against characters with bad recoveries.

Don't forget you have some crazy combo potential out of throws. It just getting the throws that's the hard part. Make sure after you put that work in and get the grab use it to the fullest!




Ledge stand <100%

Total: 34
Invincible: 1-30

Ledge stand 100%>

Total: 59
Invincible: 1-55

Ledge roll <100%

Total: 49
Invincible: 1-27

Ledge roll 100%>

Total: 79
Invincible: 1-56

Ledge attack <100%

Total: 55
Invulnerable: 1-39
Hit: 42-47

Ledge attack 100%>

Total: 69
Invulnerable: 1-53
Hit: 55-59

Ledge jump <100%

Total: 37
Invulnerable: 1-12
Soonest FF: 44

Ledge jump 100%>

Total: 47
Invincible: 1-17
Soonest FF: 49

Air Dodge
Total: 49
Invulnerable: 4-29

Spot Dodge
Total: 32
Invulnerable: 2-12

Roll Dodge
Total: 35
Invulnerable: 4-19

Landing lag: 4

Dash becomes run at frame 9
Turn-jump Threshold: 20
Run turnaround: 29


Our 2D friend has some SERIOUS combo potential. This is one of your largest strengths so learn to use it well. When you get a hit or a grab in you've got to know what to do with it afterwards. All the information you see here comes from QERB's G&W Combo Guide (which has other great info as well) with the only changes being to make it a bit more organized or else I would have just done a direct quote.

[collapse=Throw Combos]

[collapse=Down Throw]
Down Throw --> Down Throw(Chaingrab) **Your only hope vs Sheiks! Do it**
Down Throw --> DTilt (low %s, but watch for tech roll away)
Down Throw --> UTilt (higher %'s if they fail to DI)
Down Throw --> FSmash/FTilt (Works better on fastfallers; better to use aerial follow-ups vs lighter/floatier characters)
Down Throw --> Tech Chase grab (low %'s) *a lower class Sheik tech chase cg basically
Down Throw --> shffld Fair (If DI'd away at high %s)
Down Throw --> shffld Nair (If DI'd up at high %s) *NOTE* if you EVER grab a Sheik, Falcon, Ganon, Jigglypuff, Marth, Peach, other floaties, this should almost ALWAYS be your finisher. sometime you have to full jump it rather than short hop on puff and such (depending on % of course)
Down Throw --> Judgement (Feelin lucky? works on floaties)
Down Throw --> backwards wavedash --> D-Smash (sweet-spotted)[/collapse]

[collapse=Up Throw]
Up Throw --> Nair (ownage combo; follow up with potentially another N-air or F-air)
Up Throw --> Judgement(fastfallers: Falco, Falcon Fox, down throw everyone else)
Up Throw --> Uair (Juggle Fastfallers, not recommended, much better combos you can do here)
Up Throw --> Fair (If DI away; Nair is usually better here)
Up Throw --> Grab (chaingrab fastfallers Falco, Falcon, Fox. again, down throw everyone else)
Up Throw --> USmash (Fastfallers only, be careful with this, they could sneak in a shine)[/collapse]

[collapse=Forward Throw]
Forward Throw --> Nair (follow up with potentially another Nair or Fair)
Forward Throw --> Judgement(fastfallers: Falco, Falcon Fox, down throw everyone else)
Forward Throw --> Uair (Juggle Fastfallers, not recommended, much better combos you can do here)
Forward Throw --> Fair (If DI away; Nair is usually better here)
Forward Throw --> Grab (chaingrab fastfallers Falco, Falcon, Fox. again, down throw everyone else)
Forward Throw --> USmash (Fastfallers only, be careful with this, they could sneak in a shine)

Note: Fair and Bair can be better followups based on DI then Nair.

[collapse=Back Throw]
Back Throw --> Nair ( follow up with potentially another Nair or Fair)
Back Throw --> Judgement(fastfallers: Falco, Falcon, Fox...down throw everyone else)
Back Throw --> U-Air (Juggle Fastfallers, not recommended, much better combos you can do here)
Back Throw --> F-Air (If DI away; Nair is usually better here)
Back Throw --> Grab (chaingrab fastfallers Fox, Falco, Falcon...again, down throw everyone else)
Back Throw --> U-Smash (Fastfallers only, be careful with this, they could sneak in a shine)

Note: Fair and Bair can be better followups based on DI then Nair.


[collapse=Ground Combos]

DTilt -->Another manhole (*If the first hit send opponent upwards, the 2nd manhole will send opponent more horizontally, which could set up for a shffld Fair or Nair if you chase the tech properly)
DTilt --> Fair (bread and butter)
DTilt --> Nair " "
DTilt-->wavedash chase--> UTilt
DTilt--> Judgement Hammer (the Dire Combo)
DTilt -->GRAB (Awesome way to start cg'ing fastfallers, especially fox/falco, however, at 0%, fox and falco cannot be grabbed out of the d-tilt. in this case just d-tilt again. if the fox/falco is at AROUND 10% before you Dtilt then you can get the grab.)

[collapse=Dash Attack]

Note: This can only be used to start a combo if you hit during the last frames of the attack or it clanks with something.

Dash Attack --> Fsmash (the Dash Attack sends the opponent behind you, turn around and Fsmash.)

Dash Attack (clanked) --> Jab --> DTilt (here's an example it goes by fast!)

Most people have no idea Dash Attack can clank. Catch them with this combo or a grab.

[collapse= UTilt]
UTilt --> UTilt (juggles fastfallers)
UTilt --> Grab (*fastfallers-If hit with side edge of flag, opponent will be hit to the side allowing a grab. Here's an example.)
Utilt --> Uair (eh...)

Jab --> DTilt
Jab --> Grab

[collapse= Aerial Combos]

Fair --> Another Fair (this can sometimes be connected within 1 JUMP.
Fair --> Nair (Especially if the Fair hits opponent off of the stage)
Fair --> Tech Chase --> grab/DTilt (can be repeated if hit at low %s)
Weak Fair --> weak fair/Jab --> Grab (hit with Fair on the last several frames)

Note: If Fair is shielded, grab, Nair, or DTilt, space it so you don't get shield grabbed

Remember that the key has two hits, one regular, the other a spike.

Dair (both hits on ground) -->DTilt --> Fair (best combo ever, does around 45%)
Dair (1 hit only on ground) --> grab
Key (Both hits, but you land on the opposite side of opponent)--> Reverse Fsmash/FTilt (If you use the Fsmash during this combo be aware that it may cancel with one of your opponents counterattacks. Use this [clank!] to your advantage and use your DTilt or grab immediately)
Dair --> UTilt/Nair
Dair --> DTilt --> Dair (Spike)-->D-Tilt.........G&W Pillar (works on fastfallers, but can be tech rolled out of due to your floatiness, as it takes G&W forever to get back down on the ground after spiking with Dair)[/collapse]

Uair --> Another Uair (Juggle Fastfallers)
Uair --> Nair
Uair --> UTilt (Fastfallers)[/collapse]

Bair --> Bair (Until they're hit out of reach)
Bair --> Grab (Tech Chased)
Bair --> 2nd jump --> Nair (works well on floaters) works almost always if edge cancelled Bair.[/collapse][/collapse]

[collapse=Special Combos]

Zero Death Falco Combo
Up Throw-->Up Throw-->Up Throw-->Up Throw-->wavedash-->UTilt-->shffl'd Dair (don't hit with meteor part)-->shffl Fair--> full jump Nair (Very difficult to pull off due to DI)

Forward Wavedash --> D-Tilt
Backward Wavedash --> F-Smash (When opponent is approching, or recovering)

Jab Cancelled Judge/Fsmash/Dtilt/Grab

If trying to finish a combo, but n-air (insert finishing move here) is out of reach, follow with an up-b, then fastfall to avoid being punished for doing so. This can kill light characters at high %s, such as puff on stages with lower ceilings such as Pokemon Stadium and Yoshi's Story.



Before I go into a little detail about the most common stages legal now to choose from, I'd like to make a special note. All of what I type here is based on information dug up from the forums and is an in general guide to which stage to pick. Sometimes you shouldn't even consider taking certain characters to certain stages, and other times a stage that is usually horrible for you might be the stage you need. check up the match up guides if you want to be that specific.

Also, you must always consider personal preference. Just because I say something bad about a stage doesn't mean you should never choose it: if you know you can win on that stage and you feel more comfortable there GO THERE. Personal preference can be a big thing for stages, so take that into consideration.

Now, to the stages!


Battlefield... This one is tough. It will take a LOT of practice to hit that sweet spot. It does have platforms but they aren't as good as the rest of the platforms with your Dair being the real useful thing here. The platforms still help with some combos, but it may not be worth it at the expense of the stage area being a bit small and having way higher chance of death. I think the only time you should play here is if you needed to ban FD and you are taken here by someone else.

A cool thing to note: doing an edge-jump here can land you on the platforms lag free![/collapse]

[collapse=Dreamland 64]

A great stage for G&W. It has a good size so you wont get killed as fast as normal, and the sweet spot being easy to hit just raises your chances of survival even further. This stage also has platforms, so take a bunch of the things I said about platform play and stick them here with the caveat that they won't be AS strong as on FoD do to the fact the FoD platforms can go much lower creating interesting setups.

Still, this stage is definitely a solid choice, be sure you are prepared for the wind though as it can throw you off (NO JOHNS THOUGH!)[/collapse]

[collapse=Final Destination]

This isn't a bad choice against a good number of opponents. Nothing to get in the way of combos, nicely spaced kill zones, and is nice for hitting the sweet spot as you can use the angle of the stage to slide into it. This one is definitely matchup dependent, and can even depend on the player you are against. If your platform game is getting them already, keep it up. If it's not working, the free space of FD may be exactly what you need.

I''ll get to this more in the matchup section, but you can zero kill and chaingrab some people here. Many of them can also do the same to you. Remember this when you pick FD[/collapse]

[collapse=Fountain Of Dreams]

This is definitely one of G&W's best stages. To start, getting the sweetspot on this stage is probably easier then any of the other stages. But one of the main and amazing features are the moving platforms. These are great for helping you set up attacks from either below (with something like Utilt or even Chef, Judge, or Usmash if you are more daring)) to help keep yourself protected and start a good combo or juggle.

These are also some of the best platforms in helping set up attacks where you can land under a platform to avoid shield grabs, which is good for G&W and allows some moves to become more viable. And using your Dair to hit people below platforms doesn't hurt either, and these platforms make that work well!

Overall, you should probably pick FoD if you can. Just be wary of being hit through platforms with disjointed hitboxes.[/collapse]

[collapse=Yoshi's Story]

This is an extremely difficult choice. The area around the stage is small, so either you or your opponent are going to die fast. You can get some seriously fast Nair kills here, and Utitlt her is a great friend. Of course as previously stated, is that worth the possibility of you dieing just as fast? Thee sweet spot for this stage is very difficult, it will take lots of practice to get right and your ability to hit it or not is a huge factor in whether you should play here.

Randall: for those of you who don't know, Randall is the cloud that can either help you a lot of screw you a lot. Randall IS ACTUALLY ON A TIMER! Look it up. A strong player can try to keep the fight so Randall will always be where they need, other players will seriously think it's magic that Randall saves you so much if you do this right. So many people still to this day don't know to time Randall. On the flip side, if you know Randall is near your opponent you could consider going for a more daring edge-guard knowing you have something there to land on to help get another attack out. LEARN RANDALL WELL![/collapse]

[collapse=Pokemon Stadium]

The one counterpick these days. As you probably know unless you are brand spanking new to Melee (and if you are welcome! I'm honored you are reading my thread and considering G&W) PS's claim of faim is how the stage has several transformations. These go on a timer (30 seconds each) and you must see each transformation once before you see a transformation a second time. This is good to know so you can prepare for which transformation might come next.

Depending on the transformation you can have some decent breathing room, and the platforms can be pretty nice. Be careful of the ledge on this stage, it can be really tricky. Make sure to practice so you don't kill yourself on accident.

The default stage is okay, like FD with a few platforms. Be careful here of some of the same problems FD can have, but also remember the advantages it brings.

The rock transformation is incredibly easy, getting behind the largest rock and using Utilt to keep yourself safe isn't a bad option. It'll give you time to review what has happened so far in the match. Also, there is a good chance your opponent may pick that spot to ride out the transformation, if that's the case don't approach, it's too risky to be worth it.

The fire transformation is probably G&W's worst transformation, your movement becomes confined and once you start getting hit you're going to get comboed quite hard. Try to ride it out and keep as mobile as you can, don't get caught up against the tree, and use the platform of the burning house to your advantage if you can.

Enjoy the plant transformation, the platforms work well for you when you get into trouble and the playing field is rather flat. The tree can actually cloak Judge, and the edge of the grass tilts your attacks downwards for better edge-guarding.

The water transformation isn't bad either, it's harder for G&W to get comboed as easily since you can tech everywhere. You can also use a special G&W AT here, G&W's SWD. It can only be done when the Windmill is closing up but the sudden mobility could be a huge suprise to your opponent, big enough to give you a big advantage to start a combo or head crazy quick towards an edge-guard. To learn more click here.[/collapse]

Doubles Only:

[collapse=Donkey Kong 64]

I don't generally see this one outside of doubles where it replaces Pokemon Stadium as a counterpick, and Pokemon Stadium replaced FoD. Still, in case you are bringing your G&W to doubles, I thought I would cover this stage.

So, if you are bringing your G&W to doubles this can be a GREAT choice depending on your partner. A problem with G&W in doubles is usually his predictable recovery and surviving, this stage makes that MUCH easier. You can shoot through the floor, overshoot the upper platform, hit the sweet spot, go THROUGH the sweet spot and onto the platform, use the barrel, or just plain hit the ledge. Just be sure to not be predictable with your recovery, with all your options it shouldn't happen, but if you do you will get spiked through the stage before you even recover.

The slopes on this stage can make chain grabs a bit better for you. Also, be sure to learn what combos you can do with the revolving platforms, there are some pretty swanky things you can pull of here.

But most importantly be sure this stage is good for your partner as well, if you can play well here but your partner suffers badly, the advantages you gain won't really be that great in the end.[/collapse]

Other Stages:
These stages rarely see tournament legal play these days, but it is still possible to find them legal. To make sure this guide is complete, I have provided what I know of them below.

This stage isn't bad for G&W. The stage is big enough that you wont be killed too easily, and the layout of the stage gives you decent platforms to work with, it's sweet spot is alright when lava makes it possible, but you can always go through the stage as well. Keep in mind when you split the level the gap doesn't have grabable ledges.

Here's where the major problems are, the obvious is lava. It can sometimes save you, sometimes kill you, and does the same for your opponents. You opponents aren't likely to be as light as G&W however, so you should expect problems. It's nice to hit fast fallers into lava, but wont help you THAT much. Also, the floor being strange can make your attacks take some really strange angles which could be cool at times but is hard to make use of consistently and will more then likely just screw you up without lots of practice.

Overall if this stage is legal it'll be a counterpick more then likely. You probably shouldn't go here on purpose as you are likely to already have other good counterpick choices, but you don't need to instantly ban it either as you may need to ban something more important and G&W is certainly capable of fighting on this stage.

[collapse=Mute City]
This one is much more difficult, you really have to think about who you are playing against here. The ceiling is lower, but the sides are bigger. For survivability know which way your opponent will generally decide to try and kill you before coming here. There are no ledges either, so come up through the stage and be smart, Fire can give you enough lift to get through. A pro to that is that the lack of ledges makes G&W's edge-guard game take a boost too. Plus, if you really are put into a bad spot you can bounce off the road to recover as well if desperate.

If you are very brave, you can try to shark through the stage with things like Nair and Uair, get back onto the stage, then drop down to hit again. This will take perfection to work but can be seriously awesome to pull off. Also, if the opponent is being smashed against the road themselves as they try to recover, make sure to get another combo in, or if possible smack em back down with a well placed Dair.

DON'T GET HIT BY CARS. Seriously, it may not seem like too much damage at first but you are G&W and you die early, plus getting hit can set you up to get comboed. On the flip side, every time your opponent is hit GET A COMBO IN! It's a free combo starter, don't waste it.

The major deciding factors here have to be how comfortable or not you are with the stage and who you are playing against. More then likely unless your opponent has an advantage here you wont be brought here so banning it isn't worth it. If you are taken here use your advantages to the max and just do your best.

I thought about writing up things on all the other stages, but the amount you see any other stages these days in unlikely to the extreme. If however, you come from an area with another stage legal and would like a write up on it do not hesitate to ask and I will provide it.[/collapse]
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this review hits harder than caps knee. seriously though, very thorough and helpful!
Desperately needs some formatting, otherwise pretty good.
Well this helped me learn a matchup I had no idea about. Thanks for this amazing guide I'm late to reading.~
This guide is great! Im new to Smashboards, but I've been playing G&W for years now. Provided a ton of information. The perfect guide for somebody new, like me, getting on the competitive scene.
Excellent guide my friend. missing the smash attacks, but very thorough and organized. well done
I've secondaried GW, and all i know came from staring at qerb and oping for the best. this helps alot, thanks.
The first full guide I've read on these forums, and it's set the bar extremely high. I had fun reading this, and you didn't just throw numbers in our face. Beginner friendly, yet in-depth enough to keep the advanced players reading. A++.
Amazing, but the spoilers are very non-reader-friendly
This is an amazing guide that is extremely in-depth! You hit the gold with this guide and if I was up and coming G&W player, I would definitely use this.
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