A neutral game discussion.

Baby_Sneak

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sneak_diss
#1
Here, we just talk about stuff we do in the neutral and what we look for and stuff. Like,

In the neutral, I sometimes just walk forward a bit and stand still to see what they do. Standing still and waiting makes attacks more visible and easily seen than focusing on both characters at the same time. But, if they're just empty hopping around me, I retreat since I can feel they're baiting me out and they're going to do a move if I don't do anything.
Your turn.
 

Baby_Sneak

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sneak_diss
#3
Full-hop pills for days. I just pressure them into an approach or playing defensive and catch them off guard then.
This could get you killed as well, since if they power shield them (pretty easy to do if you don mixup standing, SH, FJ, and DJ along with moving forward and backwards, all which have weakness to them, like losing control of the center of the stage, jumping right into the kill zone of the character, or getting flanked from under). It's good for extreme turtling characters (disclaimer: campy) and for blind rushes, but it's only a good surprise projectile for those that forgot about it, or a 50/50 between empty jump and pill.
 

louie g

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
249
#4
Here, we just talk about stuff we do in the neutral and what we look for and stuff. Like,

In the neutral, I sometimes just walk forward a bit and stand still to see what they do. Standing still and waiting makes attacks more visible and easily seen than focusing on both characters at the same time. But, if they're just empty hopping around me, I retreat since I can feel they're baiting me out and they're going to do a move if I don't do anything.
Your turn.
Your patient game is pretty cool, though it doesn't hurt to give a good poke out. If they're not doing anything, do a quick jab/aerial, or walk forward, then pop a pill in their face, usually they'll react in some way, so try to predict what they'll do next, whether it be a shield, roll, or a whiffed attack.

Everything takes commitment, as well as punishment, so remember that. However, if you feel like they pull off a quick attack, which either gets blocked or missed, but you just aren't sure you'll be able to punish it, act like you'll counter attack, then back off, or do a quick attack and see how they'll react.

It's hysterically satisfying to act like you'll punish someone, then roll behind them, or do some other shenanigan to give them the false sensibility that they can counter act your punishment!

That's my two cents though, I'm not a super professional. I wish you luck!
 

Baby_Sneak

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sneak_diss
#5
Your patient game is pretty cool, though it doesn't hurt to give a good poke out. If they're not doing anything, do a quick jab/aerial, or walk forward, then pop a pill in their face, usually they'll react in some way, so try to predict what they'll do next, whether it be a shield, roll, or a whiffed attack.

Everything takes commitment, as well as punishment, so remember that. However, if you feel like they pull off a quick attack, which either gets blocked or missed, but you just aren't sure you'll be able to punish it, act like you'll counter attack, then back off, or do a quick attack and see how they'll react.

It's hysterically satisfying to act like you'll punish someone, then roll behind them, or do some other shenanigan to give them the false sensibility that they can counter act your punishment!

That's my two cents though, I'm not a super professional. I wish you luck!
I definitely know to do this at certain times like when they're not falling for my bait ( like empty hopping and being non-committal), but throwing pills is mostly a zoning, turtling tool for me, as it's a very committal option by itself. It's only non-comittal when you apply movement options in and have enough space to perform said action and in a game like smash, maintaining your preferred distance from the opponent is far harder than most fighting games. As matter of fact, classic corner traps in street fighter become extremely tough and very finicky to work with, since you have to box a player in from escaping the edge of the stage and trap his movements (have fun boxing in sonic lol). But, that's one of the many jobs pokes are able to do (too bad we have short range).

Yes, everything is a commitment, but all good players will choose low commitment pokes to dictate the course of play. This thread isn't about how to play the neutral against bad players who just run up and dash attack, or grab, this is about when that marth is near spontaneous with his aerial pokes, that kirby/ganondorf is seemingly just moving around and jumping, but then punishes your one whiff from nowhere, or when that ROB/mega man/villager isn't letting you in. Dash attacks are moves for when your opponent gets inside your bubble and you have to reinforce boundaries or visa-versa. your example of a fake punish mindgame is definitely something to keep in mind when they don't expect it and you could vary it up by waiting longer until they make a move, or you fake it again.

(Off current topic): One thing to talk about is rolls. Now, most people will say "don't roll, it's too predictable/punishable." That's true when you do it too much/don't know how to use it, but consider the following; You're fighting a sword user and you seem to be stuck trying to get in. you tried baiting a whiff, but you're not close enough to punish the aerial move on time, but if you try to close the distance, you get slashed back. This marth player is not giving you any breathing room either and is shutting down your jump options and is methodically choking you out of your comfort zone. With rolls, if you time the rolls the moment he whiffs and have the right distance so you're actually behind him, you can reverse the situation and keep him locked up by hovering over his comfort spot and shield grabbing every blocked unsafe aerial.

Dr.Mario definitely is a versatile character that can be turtling, rush down, zoning, lock down, and more. He has a projectile (a bit bad one), has the movement options to do it all (b reversals and wavebouncing). But, most importantly, Dr. Mario is a character that thrives off fundamentals, and without those, he can't play anything.
 
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louie g

Smash Journeyman
Joined
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Messages
249
#6
I definitely know to do this at certain times like when they're not falling for my bait ( like empty hopping and being non-committal), but throwing pills is mostly a zoning, turtling tool for me, as it's a very committal option by itself. It's only non-comittal when you apply movement options in and have enough space to perform said action and in a game like smash, maintaining your preferred distance from the opponent is far harder than most fighting games. As matter of fact, classic corner traps in street fighter become extremely tough and very finicky to work with, since you have to box a player in from escaping the edge of the stage and trap his movements (have fun boxing in sonic lol). But, that's one of the many jobs pokes are able to do (too bad we have short range).

Yes, everything is a commitment, but all good players will choose low commitment pokes to dictate the course of play. This thread isn't about how to play the neutral against bad players who just run up and dash attack, or grab, this is about when that marth is near spontaneous with his aerial pokes, that kirby/ganondorf is seemingly just moving around and jumping, but then punishes your one whiff from nowhere, or when that ROB/mega man/villager isn't letting you in. Dash attacks are moves for when your opponent gets inside your bubble and you have to reinforce boundaries or visa-versa. your example of a fake punish mindgame is definitely something to keep in mind when they don't expect it and you could vary it up by waiting longer until they make a move, or you fake it again.

(Off current topic): One thing to talk about is rolls. Now, most people will say "don't roll, it's too predictable/punishable." That's true when you do it too much/don't know how to use it, but consider the following; You're fighting a sword user and you seem to be stuck trying to get in. you tried baiting a whiff, but you're not close enough to punish the aerial move on time, but if you try to close the distance, you get slashed back. This marth player is not giving you any breathing room either and is shutting down your jump options and is methodically choking you out of your comfort zone. With rolls, if you time the rolls the moment he whiffs and have the right distance so you're actually behind him, you can reverse the situation and keep him locked up by hovering over his comfort spot and shield grabbing every blocked unsafe aerial.

Dr.Mario definitely is a versatile character that can be turtling, rush down, zoning, lock down, and more. He has a projectile (a bit bad one), has the movement options to do it all (b reversals and wavebouncing). But, most importantly, Dr. Mario is a character that thrives off fundamentals, and without those, he can't play anything.
Yeaah, throwing some movement in is definitely a more fluid strategy, I forgot to mention how much fun it is to just jump in on someone, then suddenly reverse B away from them, 'course it's better used in situational moments, like if an opponent is coming in from a landing, or for a quick edgeguard poke, stuff like that. Pills can be the most interruptive, most sudden moves ever.

And oh yeah man, I totally get what you're saying, though here's the thing, when a person pokes at you, they will usually try to get a reaction out of you, and this is also where that "fake punish" strat could come in. You can turn their whiff, or their next whiff into a punish. Again though, I don't play as much as I used to, the way you explained the strat is pretty much how it'd work. I definitely agree with everything you said.

I totally forgot to mention too, it's great to keep in mind of the stage itself, of course. And I'm referring to the middle ground. Every living being on a neutral stage practically gets magnetized to the middle part of the stage, it's good to keep this type of thing in mind when you wanna predict where someone will go if they're in mid air, and/or be unpredictable when your rival owns the middle ground.

A lot of characters practically, already own the center stage depending on what abilities they got, either it be longer range, or sheer speed. Just stuff to note, this part's probably not a big surprise to anyone, but I find too many players forgetting about it.
 
Joined
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#7
Part of it is trying to remember matchup knowledge (what's safe on shield, can a projectile be power shielded easily, etc.) and pattern observation (does the opponent like using a move over and over again, is the opponent grab happy, does the opponent roll or get up attack, does the opponent shield more or attack more etc.). There isn't much to say about Doc's neutral game, or any of the Mario Bros neutral games. They are as basic as you can get. You will learn that:

  • spacing low committal moves, especially moves with high reward, is very valuable
  • jump height = time for your opponent to react, therefore you are safer if you can make the transition from the air to the ground quickly
  • conditioning is important, especially against characters that have better range than you
  • Having reliable out of shield options and a usable grab = good set of defensive tools
And these aren't Bros specific tools. These apply to everyone, but that's the point. Mario/Doc/Luigi have unique perks to their gameplan (Luigi's fireballs, Mario's mobility, Doc's defensive options, and their combo/string games), but they work when you stick to the basics.
 

CasteHappy//

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#8
Full hop pills are amazing. You can mix up the angles of the trajectory switching between grounded pills, short hop pills and full hop pills, it's great to do that when the opponent is good at perfect shield projectiles but they won't approach.
Do short hop bairs, it has good priority so it's safe to throw out and catch approaching opponents off guard. Ftilt can do the job as well.
Sometimes is great to throw some Full hop fairs to catch jumps.
I think we should make a doc guide, there's a lot of dead posts and I want to cry.
 
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#9
When I playing as doc my goal is to get a grab, because my percents off a grab is pretty consistent (usually 25%+ off a grab unless at high percents, but then doc has a solid kill throw and dthrow-fair on certain characters). So, my neutral plays around that.

I usually throw 2-3 full hop pills, just so I can see how my opponent reacts (plus some chip percent). If I see my opponents hang back, I do the approaching with shield, nair, or rar bair. The only exception to this is Sheik and Zss. I always let them approach me and punish that, unless they're in a ton of lag (which is rare). If my opponent continues in, I try to punish their approach using shield (and a oos option), nair, jabs (if I want to keep them out), or a tilt (preferably dtilt or utilt, I could just go for jab instead of ftilt unless I need that extra range). Then I just go with the flow from there.

Full hop pills are amazing. You can mix up the angles of the trajectory switching between grounded pills, short hop pills and full hop pills, it's great to do that when the opponent is good at perfect shield projectiles but they won't approach.
Do short hop bairs, it has good priority so it's safe to throw out and catch approaching opponents off guard. Ftilt can do the job as well.
Sometimes is great to throw some Full hop fairs to catch jumps.
I think we should make a doc guide, there's a lot of dead posts and I want to cry.
I second the idea of a doc guide, and making some new threads (Like a matchup thread, that seems kinda dead)
 

tibs7

Smash Champion
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#10
think we need to make an edgeguarding thread - would be epic

character specific habits and yeah the best and most optimal way at covering most options :)
 

CasteHappy//

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#11
I second the idea of a doc guide, and making some new threads (Like a matchup thread, that seems kinda dead)
We should start some new threads and compile information (matchups, guaranteed combos and kill setups and stuff like that) and then make a guide including everything. I always see the same active players here and we are the ones who should do that, I guess.
 

ixos

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#12
The way I approach is usually using SHFF pills just to rack up some quick damage, and I sometimes b reverse the pills to see their reaction if they still try to shield even though its not headed for them. When we get closer, I use a combination of short-hop and full hop pills, along with Nair. Then I start fishing for grabs to get a few quick combos off.
 

Baby_Sneak

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sneak_diss
#13
Part of it is trying to remember matchup knowledge (what's safe on shield, can a projectile be power shielded easily, etc.) and pattern observation (does the opponent like using a move over and over again, is the opponent grab happy, does the opponent roll or get up attack, does the opponent shield more or attack more etc.). There isn't much to say about Doc's neutral game, or any of the Mario Bros neutral games. They are as basic as you can get. You will learn that:

  • spacing low committal moves, especially moves with high reward, is very valuable
  • jump height = time for your opponent to react, therefore you are safer if you can make the transition from the air to the ground quickly
  • conditioning is important, especially against characters that have better range than you
  • Having reliable out of shield options and a usable grab = good set of defensive tools
And these aren't Bros specific tools. These apply to everyone, but that's the point. Mario/Doc/Luigi have unique perks to their gameplan (Luigi's fireballs, Mario's mobility, Doc's defensive options, and their combo/string games), but they work when you stick to the basics.
You're not wrong about our neutral being basic; that's actually goes for all characters. However, the additional purpose for this thread is for neutral discussion match ups; how to beat x character in neutral, or challenge said x character in neutral, which makes the neutral more complex.
 
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#14
I like to use tornado/ b reverse tornado when a bit close to an opponent in neutral. Most preferably when they shield so I can read the oos attack and dodge it. As an example: dr Mario does a tornado on Mario's shield. Mario try's to punish with an out of shield attack but the oos attack can be dodged if it is read. Say Mario try's to punish with a grab, dr Mario can mash the tornado to rise above it if the grab is read. If Mario try's to up smash oos and dr Mario reads it he can mash the tornado while moving to the side. With up b oos dr Mario has to read which way Mario will go with it and move accordingly. I haven't had many skilled players to test this against but it has been working pretty well. I'm not saying this is something to abuse because I'm not completely sure of its effectiveness, I just wanted to get this out here.
 

Capt. Tin

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#15
Sometimes against certain characters I've noticed if you space your F-Smash just far enough you can use it as a bait and then Up B if they try to run in and grab.

Sometimes I'm not sure if it's on accident but people will actually run into my bait which is great.
 
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