2015 and Beyond: Can Falcon win a national?

KneeJustice

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Edit (1/14/15): Someone shared this on Reddit (shoutouts to CriticalRibbon) so I thought I'd post the link here since there are two parallel discussions and the Reddit one has some insightful things in it as well.

http://www.reddit.com/r/SSBM/comments/2qvjcb/smashboards_2015_and_beyond_can_falcon_win_a/
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Dear Fellow Members of the Order of the Iron Nipple,

I come to you with a crucial question:

Can Captain Falcon win a national in 2015 and beyond?

If so, how? When? What does it (will it) take?

What does 2015 hold in store for us, and what can we reasonably expect for the new year and the years beyond?

First, some history:

1) In 2012, a similar question was asked: "Will Captain Falcon ever win a National?"

i think its possible, just that skillwise other people currently beat out the top falcons
winning a national with falcon is a near impossible feat at this stage in melee's development, but i'll never stop trying
i'm still getting better at this game and notice like 10-20 fixable mistakes in all my recorded matches

until i stop getting better, not convinced that falcon can't do it

at my current level, i need a good bracket to run deep. Had a good/lucky wins bracket at genesis 2 (despite armada 2nd round). If i beat m2k, then i coulda beat shroomed, then hbox, then..

apex wasn't nearly as nice to me but its a matter of me not being good enough vs peach and not taking care of my body prior to the next day
lol guys u're hilarious

"For Falcon to win a national, the person playing him would have to significantly out-play his opponents and that's all there is to it."

sigh...
just about as much as peach has to

no wait
falcon wins by PURE SKILL because he's fast and does cool combos

just stfu please, the falcon mains are just not good enough, and thats that.
tell me one falcon who even powershields falco's lasers even ****ing once >_>

no wait, why would you completely change falcons worst matchup by just practicing some more
lets complain that falcon gets ***** by people who play like ******s because falcon players never plays gay COUGHHAXCOUGH and falcon players could EASILY win every match if they just played a little gayer

I mean, so what if samus / peach players get a little better if they spam CC (even though falcon still rapes them both 60-40)
do you see them complain about "I can't jump or approach because falcon will punish that everytime with 103810381 uairs"
no, because they don't have the mindset of a ten year old like some falcon mains seem to do

stop kidding yourself please


oh, and I don't hate you guys.
I just hate your feminine side that won't stop complaining.
Yes, for the moment, it seems falcons can't win until they break in their new controllers.
On the tourney Saturday I will convince you that falcons up B is awesome and his oos game is actually good.

Falcon 2012
The debate
2) At the beginning of 2013, there was some hope that Hax$ could do it:

2013 is DEFINITELY the year of the falcon. Everyone's sleeping on us. S2J wins Apex.
Source

I think it's amazing that it feels like we, meaning us falcons, could be in the grand finals of the next major. Hax literally only has the obstacle of Peepee, Mango, Hbox, and Armada to get through right now. And the falcon peach matchup is baller. I'm going to do my best to contribute to helping all of the falcons improve, and hopefully we can FINALLY get Falcon to the top.
Hax will win a national soon.
Source

Nevertheless, people obviously disagreed, and despite the high hopes, it quickly became evident that 2013 would not be the Year of the Falcon:

No you can't have year of the Falcon every year! lol. Falcon's destiny is sealed.
Source

year of the falcon was over by apex. what 2013 will be for falcons is unknown
Source

Falcon cannot win a national. Fox however CAN! Brand new information that was proven at EVO 2013.
Source

3) Looking back on it, peoples' hopes in 2012 and 2013 seem almost naive. From my perspective, 2014 represented a relatively dark year for the good Captain: our champion Hax$ switched to Fox, S2J had a disappointing start at Apex 2014, and the forces of 20XX seem to have gained a lot of momentum in their teleological march towards TAS-level play.

Hax$ has written that he thinks
no one other than Fox Falco or Marth should win a national from here on out. IC's and Jigglypuff are like minigames for Fox (don't make massive mistakes and you win). Sheik is bad vs both spacies and requires massive outplaying to win. Peach has the 4th best chance of winning a national because she isn't glaringly awful vs either spacie. she's bad vs Fox for sure but her neutral game vs him is still much stronger than IC's/Jiggs/Sheik. Peach can still win *now* but her ability to win will eventually fizzle out as Foxes continue to improve. Armada will tell you this himself.

this game is truly reaching theorycraft levels of play (I'd say it happened this year specifically; go back and watch the level of play at Apex/EVO 2013, it's gross). the sudden Melee boom has caused people to train like hell, and something that has become apparent to me with this year's advancement of the metagame is that Fox and Falco truly SHOULD win every game if they play well enough. when I go back and watch sets of my Falcon, I see so many instances where I'm capitalizing on spacie players' blunders. my strategy heavily involved eliciting mistakes on their end. what is naturally going to happen when spacies players continue to optimize their characters with endless potential and stop making these mistakes? other characters are going to fall out of viability.
There was also some recent discussion in this thread (2013 Community Tier List) about whether Falcon even deserves his position on the tier list.

Captain Falcon is pretty good in terms of viability if you care about placing top 8, but he's in a tier that should be specific to characters that can WIN a national, not do good in one.

His matchups with some top tiers are laughable, especially against spacies and considering that he's a top tier himself. He's way too inconsistent and he's used too often for people to not know how to handle a Falcon.

I'd say there needs to be a borderline/high-mid tier for Falcon. He isn't top tier worthy but he's definitely doable.
The circle jerk against the viability falcon is too much lol

Does he perform well in tournaments? Yes. We see a lot of success in tournament and places well internationally. We have S2J, SS, and Lord (and Mango) from WC, Darkrain from MidWest, Wizzy, Gahtzu, and Gravy on the EC, Jeapie and Rocky in EU, Noobking from CAN, and Gucci in JP. Hax's retired Falcon may still be the highest level Falcon has been taken, but it's definitely not an anomaly and I'm sure will be reached again if not surpassed.

Can he win regionals and locals? Yes. We've seen that recently with Darkrain's win over Kels at UFGTX and S2J winning a number of SSS events for an example.

Can he win a national? Not right now. But he has in the past (thank you Isai), and that's more than we can so for other characters. And who knows what will happen in the future. Mango has said himself that the character he thinks has the most potential is Falcon.
So can Mango unlock Falcon?

man i wish mang0 used falcon more in tournament. he says falcon has the potential to win a national, I wanna see him prove it.
The funny thing is that he could probably do it better than anyone else currently. LMAO
Source

Mango to Hax$:



So far, we've seen a variety of opinions at a variety of different points in time.

My final question is whether it is worth characterizing characters by whether they can outright win a national anymore? At the top level, we see a lot of character variety: Mango can go Fox or Falco. Armada has a Young Link for Hbox, M2K of course has Sheik, Marth and Fox, while PP has Marth and Falco. Even Hbox has recently been bringing out a Fox of his own against Armada's YL. Top players playing top-tier characters seemingly can no longer compete with only one main. This seems to be an inevitable part of the metagame, as players begin to refine their knowledge of each others' styles (which is why I personally think Mango has a fair shot: he has the best knowledge of the other top players and his Falcon is not such a common phenomenon that it is well-known and its choices predictable).

So how realistic is it to expect Falcon to compete against the top 5-7 players in the world on a variety of stages that don't favor him, especially when these players can change their characters to further disadvantage a solitary Falcon? Would it be acceptable if a Falcon main switched to Fox or Marth for a game or two on stages/matchups that don't favor him in order to win a national?

Or is this its own type of selling out?

Is Falcon's potential tapped? Is it merely too difficult to unlock?

What can and what should Falcon be, in 2015 and beyond?

Will he be a character suited only for friendlies and styling, or will he be a real tournament threat?

Personally, I'm a dreamer: I think that S2J's recent dominance at SSS, the rising strength and dedication of the Florida Falcons (Ghatzu, Gravy (whose recent thread suggests that Falcon can be further refined) and Wizzrobe) and the manly panache of Jeapie's Falcon are enough to prove that Falcon can still dominate the competition and moonwalk his way to number one.

Here's to Captain Falcon and his stalwart standard-bearers in the new year.
 
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gravy

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Soon they're going to ask if falcon can still lose. I vote he gets banned.
 

Spak

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winning a national with falcon is a near impossible feat at this stage in melee's development, but i'll never stop trying
Come back to us, Hax... :(

Anyways, yes we can win a National. We just need to make sure that Mang0 makes it to finals against someone not in the top 6 and then win with Falcon. If M2K ignores us and proceeds to the semi-finals, we need to bring in a professional kidnapper.
 

Sir Bubbles

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No hate on Falcon or anything, but like I said in the post above and Hax himself, he just isn't viable right now.

But it would have to be amazing for that to happen. Prove that to me, Falcon mains!
 

Pizza Day

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20XX is a load of **** and falcon will rise again. All it takes is 1 person to prove that falcon can win. It's just that Hax's constant bashing of Falcon brought down everyones confidence in the characters ability to perform. Hax was nowhere near Falcons peak. He just thought he was.
no h8 for hax though, he's a god
 
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Mystic-

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Honestly, I think Mango could win a national with Falcon right now if he was on and Gravy will be the one to bring Falcon to the next level. He is, moreso than any of the other "modern" Falcons, transforming Falcon into the optimized, yet still sexy, beast he deserves to be and I'm extremely interested to see how he pushes Falcon's meta forward. I'm a MASSIVE fanboy for Gravy though (no **** right?) so take that with a grain of salt but I feel like Falcon is so underutilized it's criminal. People have this idea that you have to play Falcon a certain way in the neutral (which is why Hax seems to think he sucks) but S2J is and has been showing how powerful he can be in the neutral. There's also this idea that you have to go for reads (another reason Hax and ilk thinks he sucks) but why would the most mobile character in the game have to go for reads? That's complete bogus. His recovery is ass if you get into that position every Falcon has been in where you are combo DIing and sent off stage unable to recover high but it really isn't that bad if you don't screw up. Falcon isn't the best character by any means but I think he can win stuff if we just stop playing him like he's just fast Sheik

TL;DR Right now I don't think Falcon doesn't really have a chance to win a major unless Mango does that thing he does where he beats everybody regardless of his character. This is mostly (IMO) because style has always superseded efficiency to the point where Falcon is a fairly unoptimized character in comparison to other top tiers.
 

Windrose

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What I said in that 2012 thread was taken out of context.

Falcon can definitely win a national.

I agree with what leffen posted. But I think the days of falcon complaining are long behind us now that hax switched. Most of the good falcon players I talk to have a good mindset. They are constantly practicing any little thing that can improve their game.

I look to the trio of new school falcons Gravy, Wizzrobe and Gahtzu. These guys are always making strides and improving. S2J and Lord still keep up with top players and are also improving.

There is still a lot to develop for falcon. I'm always excited to watch these top falcon players come out of training and showing cool new things at big tournaments.

Just keep practicing and aim on improving.
 

hariooo

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Hax is such a fraud did he really imply the XX in 20XX was like 15 or 16 or something?

Bah go back to quad-shining someone's shield, then getting stuck while they buffer a roll to reset back to neutral.
 

MudkipUniverse

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Like what Leffen said, Falcon players just need to put more effort in. Wizzrobe and Lord are really the only Active falcon "Mains" that I respect, and outside of Mains, M2K, Westballz, and Mang0
 
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Spak

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Like what Leffen said, Falcon players just need to put more effort in. Wizzrobe is really the only Falcon "Main" that I respect, and outside of Mains, M2K and Mang0
You don't respect Scar, Darkrain, G-Reg or S2J? Outside of mains, you don't respect Westballz?
 

MudkipUniverse

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You don't respect Scar, Darkrain, G-Reg or S2J? Outside of mains, you don't respect Westballz?
Oh, I respect Westballz, scar, and darkrain.
maybe Lord


S2J is too inconsistent, and G-reg, I haven't seen enough of him
 
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EddyBearr

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Leffen's more recent comment:
"What's your opinion on captain falcon?
Incredibly simple glass cannon. Those who think they're special for choosing a high tier are stupid lel
3 months ago (Source)"

Dunno if that means Leffen thinks CF has the potential to win a national, but his opinion of Falcon seems to have taken a turn for the worse.
 

ItsChon

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This thread alone has insured that I will give Falcon a shot when I finally get my copy of Melee in the mail.
 

T-R3X

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What it boils down to is falcon is an amazing character with **** moves. 2015 falcon will have to, as all other character mains do, optimize his strong characteristics and adjust for his weaknesses. His mobility still isn't fully tapped (within 2015 we'll see more optimal movement but as it is...it's almost like he's too fast too control with precision, really) but his moves (minus uair i guess) still have awful frame data and priority.

I honestly think that more reads (at least in "neutral") are probably what might be needed in 2015. The precision requirements on optimal tech chasing and stuff is high (not impossible to reach) - and falcon doesn't have the survivability to not get solid chunks of percent or death off of his combos.

The myth of falcon as a tank who can take a lot of damage will probably be finished in 2015, if it hasn't already - people are too good at gimping, edgeguarding, and comboing nowadays, and falcon is probably the easiest to gimp, edgeguard, and combo out of the high tiers.

Comparisons with characters like peach and puff aren't very logical because the problems that a character like peach suffers are entirely different (and perhaps more easily circumnavigated) than the problems falcon has. In my opinion, whether or not falcon can win a national depends on falcon mains' abilities to optimize movement (a la wizzrobe, gravy) and make correct reads (a la lord, mango, s2j).
 

trilok

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what would you know dair bird
M2k considers falcons uair to be his best move and underutilized so hes not alone thinking that.
Uair is incredibly quick, has a nice hitbox, and can combo into itself or kill, but im sure most falcon mains know that. They probably just arent using it optimally in the situations m2k is talking about.
 

spy_

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I agree. I'm a pretty bad falcon main, but I feel like uair is underutilized and can be good at zoning and keeping characters on platforms more, not to mention the combo capabilities of the move.
 
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LyeN

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I think in the short term, S2J can win a national if he plays out of his mind. He also needs to keep improving his edge-guarding (which has been getting better recently).

In the long term, Wizzrobe. Maybe Lord if he experiments with more play styles and actually starts traveling to tournaments.

And Mango if he ever commits to only Falcon for a bit.
 

ItsChon

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I think in the short term, S2J can win a national if he plays out of his mind. He also needs to keep improving his edge-guarding (which has been getting better recently).

In the long term, Wizzrobe. Maybe Lord if he experiments with more play styles and actually starts traveling to tournaments.

And Mango if he ever commits to only Falcon for a bit.
What do you think of S2J's recent let down performance at SSS? Getting 4 stocked by Fiction, and than losing 2/0 to SUNGs Sheik? Not going to lie, it didn't look good.
 

Spak

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This is the year. We all have 365 days to achieve the goal of Falcon winning a National in 2015; let's all improve as much as we can!
 

Spak

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What do you think of S2J's recent let down performance at SSS? Getting 4 stocked by Fiction, and than losing 2/0 to SUNGs Sheik? Not going to lie, it didn't look good.
If S2J is going to have a good day and works on his edgeguarding, he could possibly win a national. If he has a bad day, Mang0 is our best bet and then Darkrain after that. Outside of singles, I think Scar/Mang0 can beat Armada/M2K if they could practice together more often.
 

ItsChon

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If S2J is going to have a good day and works on his edgeguarding, he could possibly win a national. If he has a bad day, Mang0 is our best bet and then Darkrain after that. Outside of singles, I think Scar/Mang0 can beat Armada/M2K if they could practice together more often.
I think the fact that S2J is so reliant on having a good day is why he as a player, doesn't matter if he goes Falcon or not, will not win a Nationals without working on his consistency issues. Obviously Mang0 is the best bet after that, as he's basically in the SS tier, while M2K, Armada, HBox, and DrPeePee are S. Admittedly, Armada and DrPeePee are capable of giving him a run for his money time for time, but I think that stems from his attitude about the game. He doesn't take it as seriously as he could sometimes. He's pretty far ahead of everyone else right now. Don't know about Darkrain, this is my first time hearing about him. Links to some of his matches please? As for doubles, I don't hold much stock in those.
 

Spak

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I think the fact that S2J is so reliant on having a good day is why he as a player, doesn't matter if he goes Falcon or not, will not win a Nationals without working on his consistency issues. Obviously Mang0 is the best bet after that, as he's basically in the SS tier, while M2K, Armada, HBox, and DrPeePee are S. Admittedly, Armada and DrPeePee are capable of giving him a run for his money time for time, but I think that stems from his attitude about the game. He doesn't take it as seriously as he could sometimes. He's pretty far ahead of everyone else right now. Don't know about Darkrain, this is my first time hearing about him. Links to some of his matches please? As for doubles, I don't hold much stock in those.
Just barely lost to Hax, won 3-0 vs Kage:

Just barely lost to Mang0:

Silent Wolf vs Darkrain, won 2-0

Darkrain vs Kels, won 3-2

EDIT: Put the videos in a spoiler to make the page easier to scroll through
EDIT 2: Putting the videos in spoilers made the quality absolutely horrid, so I changed it back.
 
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ItsChon

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Just barely lost to Hax, won 3-0 vs Kage:

Just barely lost to Mang0:

Silent Wolf vs Darkrain, won 2-0

Darkrain vs Kels, won 3-2
Yes! Will defenitly watch once I get home from this ridiculous trip my parents are dragging me on for New Years. Way to break the 15 year tradition of staying home every New Years Eve. So frustrating.
 

Zoler

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I was obviously joking... I've personally always thought that all the top 8 characters can win a national. People used to say that even Marths time was passed, ****ing absurd.
 

Mastodon

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First of all, **** hax. In my opinion, he switched to fox so he could make up for his sub-par mental game with his outstanding technical skill. I'm no expert, but I firmly believe this is the underlying reason for his switch to fox, regardless of whatever excuses he uses to help himself sleep at night. Other pros who talk about hax all say when it comes down to it, he breaks down mentally in his most difficult matches which keeps him where he's at currently in the overall rankings, regardless of the character he chooses to play.

If mango decided to actually work on playing falcon and getting the match up experience, I'd put good money on him taking a national with falcon. If S2J actually learned how to edgeguard and quit being an alcoholic, I'd put money on him, too. Of course, all of us here would like to see falcon take down a national, but I doubt either of the above things are gonna happen. All of the other top players just like to stick to their spacies; they're fun to play and as the data shows: they are the least vulnerable when they make a mistake.

That said, I'm just gonna keep playing falcon, and hope we see a pro try to break out the best of falcon. Who cares if he's the best character or not, or if any pros are winning with him? As long as I get to stomp -> knee my opponents when they **** up, I'm happy.
 

Mastodon

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Speaking of mango winning with falcon, I have an idea if any of you guys are interested:

Since mango has started his stream he's really trying to get subscribers. I was thinking maybe we could offer him a deal: we subscribe if he starts playing more falcon haha. Its a pipe dream, but hey, maybe it'd be enough to get him to do it.
 

ItsChon

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Speaking of mango winning with falcon, I have an idea if any of you guys are interested:

Since mango has started his stream he's really trying to get subscribers. I was thinking maybe we could offer him a deal: we subscribe if he starts playing more falcon haha. Its a pipe dream, but hey, maybe it'd be enough to get him to do it.
I want Falcon to win a National, but not enough to fork over cash.
 
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