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Advance, Attack, Avoid (Through the lens of Luigi)

Discussion in 'Luigi' started by BluEG, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. BluEG

    BluEG
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    Rock, Paper, Scissors:
    The most basic of all competitive games. The premise is simple and I need not describe it, but how does it apply to SSBM?

    Firstly, SSBM is vastly more complex than RPS because there are infinitely more options to choose from. However, through categorizing different actions we take based on the goal they aim to achieve, a broader picture emerges.
    If we break down Melee to its most basic elements, we are left with three key interactions between two players: Advancing (Closing space between you and your opponent), Attacking, and Avoiding. Just like RPS, these interactions play with each other in the same manner. Advancing beats Avoiding, Attacking beats Advancing, and Avoiding beats Attacking. When one of these mismatches occurs, the player with the winning option is given the opportunity to 'Punish' their opponent.

    Lets explore each interaction.

    The Elements

    Advancing is simply closing space between you and your opponent. The goal is to put your opponent in range of your options and observe how they react. For Luigi, this means wavedashing towards your opponent WITHOUT placing a hitbox. Another example of advancing is to full hop towards an airborne opponent, again WITHOUT using an aerial.

    Attacking comes in two forms: Aggressive and defensive. The goal is to hit your opponent and capitalize on the outcome. Luigi attacks aggressively with a slew of powerful aerials and the ever awesome Wavedash -> Anything. On the defensive, we have our F-Tilt, Upsmash, bair, and Upair primarily, with other attacks playing a lesser role.

    Avoiding encompasses any defensive maneuver: shielding, spotdodging, rolling, wavedashing away, double jumping, airdodging. The goal is to avoid being hit by an opponent's attack.


    Conditioning

    Giving preference to one interaction over another conditions your opponent to react with the counter. The beautiful thing about Luigi is that his typical form of advancing looks EXACTLY like his attack option. Ever wonder how the top Luigi's get these insane cross-ups and grabs? Through Attacking with wavedash -> tilts and smashes, your opponent becomes conditioned to Avoid by shielding. So next time, when you Advance by wavedashing, you create an opportunity to Punish with a grab. How cool is that?

    Always assess which interaction your opponent is performing or preparing to perform, this is not easy by any means, but there are some visual cues we can use. For example: Picture that Marth in your play group dash dancing on FD right outside your Wavedash-Ftilt range. This should be a redflag for you to realize that this Marth is baiting and getting ready to Avoid your attack in order to punish with an FSmash or any number of dumb things Marth can do to our wonderful plumber. To counter this, you can Advance with a wavedash to provoke a response (Remember, they are expecting the Ftilt). Typically, they will continue to Avoid by dash dancing and you are free to input another wavedash and hit them with any attack, or they will Attack with an Fsmash to the face and you can simply Avoid by shielding and punish with a WD OOS, or they will Advance towards you in hopes of landing a grab and you can Ftilt them for trying. The key thing to note is that by closing the space, their option to Avoid by dash dancing is muted in the sense that they can not dash past the ledge, so you can prepare for an Advance or Attack more reliably.

    Stay one step ahead of your opponent.

    You've Advanced a couple times and caught your opponent unaware. Now he's watching for it, and we can use that to our advantage. The counter to Advancing is Attacking, so the next time you wavedash towards that Marth, he knows, and hes prepping up that Fsmash. Now we can use Avoiding to counter their attack. My favorite way to do this is to wavedash towards Marth with a shield raised. Another way is to walk forward and then wavedash away when you get close to them.
    Now they see that your Avoiding and begin Advancing, and we can start to Attack and cycle comes full circle.

    You want to be the one dictating the match, don't become the player attacking when they start avoiding, make them play to you.

    This is the basis of most mind games, it will get you hits, but will never amount to anything if you don't practice your punishes. Punishes and edgeguards gets you the stock, these concepts are stepping stones to get your opponent into favorable positions.


    Game state

    In Smash, there are three major game states that two players can be engaged in, characterized by the balance of options each player has access to. They are the Neutral game, Pressure game, and Punish game and in each state there are two roles you can play.

    In the Neutral game, the balance of options each player can perform is at a relative equilibrium. In this state, the Advance/Attack/Avoid paradigm is most prevalent and the players interact with each other in this manner until a mismatch of the interactions occur or one player gains a positional advantage.

    What do I mean by positional advantage?
    Refer to this picture of battlefield:
    [​IMG]
    The green box represents the portion of the stage that you want to be in at all times. If you are in 'the box' you are in a 'Neutral position'. If you are outside of this box, your options (especially in regards to movement) are limited and you are at positional disadvantage.


    The Pressure game is characterized by one player having more options than their opponent.
    If you are
    • at a positional disadvantage or offstage
    • airborne without a double jump
    • in your shield
    • on the ledge
    • just escaped out of a combo
    you are under pressure. If this is you, your goal should be to return to a neutral position as fast as possible.

    A player under pressure has a tendency to Avoid.

    With this in mind, it is prudent for a player to Advance on an opponent under pressure and to observe how they attempt to Avoid and block their attempts to return to neutral.


    The Punish game is characterized by one player having options while their opponent is effectively option-less.

    If you are
    • Grabbed
    • In hit-stun
    • Special-fall
    • In any sort of animation
    your opponent has the opportunity to Punish you. Note that you can not be punished if you are out of range of their Attack option. The goal of the punisher is to continue the punish for as long as possible through combos and reads, while their victim must escape through DI and tech rolls.

    As soon as a player escapes a punish, they are immediately under pressure.

    Always pay attention to which game state the match is currently in and which role you are playing in that game state. There are many situations that I observe that a potential combo is dropped because a player is unwilling to press their advantage and a lot of that is due to a lack of awareness.



    If you made it to here, thanks for reading. I sincerely hope it helps your game tremendously. Luigi is the best, if you have any questions or want me to write any more examples out, post away.

    -BluEG
     
    #1 BluEG, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  2. Griffard

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    Good stuff man. Taking some basic but also higher level thinking and put it in great, very clear wording. Hope it helps all our weegee brethren, and honestly it will help me too.

    Anytime I'm baiting attacks I experience a greater level of success, anytime I take the time to WD OOS instead of guessing with spot dodges, I experience a greater level of success. These are fantastic fundamentals.
     
  3. Ac3 ZeN1x

    Ac3 ZeN1x
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    Man this was great.
     
  4. P@RA

    P@RA
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    Damn @BluEG that was amazing. I'd really love to know your opinion on the Martth MU. I know there's that matchup thread which I've read, but I'd like to hear what you think. I'm aware of the steep learning curve as well. How did you learn the MU, and how long did it take you to get comfortable with it?

    I have a ton of trouble advancing on Marth because of his range. I've started to incorporate dash dancing with wavedashes to help make my advances less predictable but I still get beat by his movement.

    One thing I saw you mentioned was walking up to a Marth and wavedashing back. I almost forget that Luigi has other forms of movement other than wavedashing haha. I saw a video of Blea Gelo where he walked around sometimes and it seemed to be effective. Thanks for that!

    Also, what do you do with aggressive Marths who are constantly trying to take away your space?
     
  5. Soupeschleg

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    You should read ROFL's Marth MU post! It's pretty dated, but it's good stuff (I would also like to hear BluEG's thoughts on the MU). Luigi - Marth is most def one of my favorite matchups
     
  6. BluEG

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    Thanks man :)

    As for Marth, there is not much I can elaborate on as fars as the basics go that ROFL doesn't already outline in his guide, highly recommend reading that post. What I can do is outline certain common situations you might find yourself in against a Marth and what to do when they occur.

    The learning curve for the matchup is steep, but I think its manageable. I can't remember how long it really took to get comfortable with it, but my training partner, Jrad, mains Marth and I learned the MU through living with him for 2 years.

    Do not fear the sword

    This is the absolute key to understanding Marth. He has no projectiles, so really attempt to understand his spacing and how you can stand just outside of it. Getting comfortable with this is extremely important, Marth capitalizes on the fear of his range and if you fight the impulse to shield/spotdodge/roll you'll be in much better shape. It sounds counter intuitive, but you actually want to be close to Marth. His attacks are laggy so you want to be close enough to punish when the time comes.

    Marth juggles Luigi extremely well, so its imperative to stay on the ground. In the neutral, they have 2 main approaches: Dashdance into grab/dtilt, or SHFFLed Fair/Nair. Most Marths tend to favor one or the other.
    DashDance/DTilt is extremely hard to deal with, its fast, corners us, and prevents a lot of wavedash approaches. Setting up an Jab/Ftilt wall is the best way to deal with this. You can also shield and WD OOS through the dtilts but the timing is strict.
    If they are approaching with aerials, you can CC until ~45% or so and punish with a downsmash which sets up for a juggle/punish.


    Luigi has several extremely good grab punishes on Marth.

    From 0
    DownThrow -> Dash->JC Upsmash
    UpThrow -> Dair

    UpThrow->Uair/Bair + Nair and other stuff.....I can't remember the exact sequence because it changes based on DI, but luigi has an almost guaranteed 0-55% off an upthrow

    At any mid % Forward throw -> Ftilt into another F-Tilt into another F-Tilt or grab if you suspect a shield. Sounds dumb...but it works haha.

    60-75% Down-throw -> Fair
    ^ this leads to many early kills if you are near the ledge when you get the grab


    Edgeguarding Marth is actually very safe and easy.
    Marth's will get just below the ledge and Side-B. Read what they are doing and time a ledge grab for invincibility and bair them. When they catch on, their response is to recover really low so you can just hold on and ledgehog them.

    You can also time a Dair to hit them as they try to Up-B to the ledge.


    Recovery is probably the biggest issue against Marth and if anything, this is probably where i can shed the most advice.
    Fireball is so important. Always shoot one towards the ledge where Marths like to stand and Dtilt/Fsmash. Time it so that you can DJ or Up-B to grab ledge right when they would be getting hit by the fireball.

    Teching is also crucial, and its actually really easy, contrary to what you may think. Luigi's Up-B is only vertical, and has the same speed every time so you don't really need to 'time' anything.
    Honestly, you should do this when recovering against any character.

    Immediately after inputing an Up-B, mash the joystick in the direction of the ledge and input a tech.

    This essentially buffers the tech as you Up-B and you'll get it every time.



    This post is all over the place but i hope it helps.
     
    #6 BluEG, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
    Pazx, P@RA, Lorenzo The Comic and 2 others like this.
  7. Verda Stelo

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    Uthrow -> bair -> nair -> utilt -> uair - > chop! So much tasty Marth percentage from 0% and it can basically send Marth from one edge to the other, giving Luigi excellent stage control or creating an edgeguard situation that BluEG has already covered pretty well. The above isn't a true combo, unfortunately, but it can be landed and mixed up to counterplay your opponent's defensive options out of uthrow up to middle percentages.
     
  8. BluEG

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    Lmao, I was seriously about to start listing the combo but then realized there's way too many variations. Just remember that Up-Throw at 0 is super free, so try to land them.
     
  9. Madcowdesease

    Madcowdesease
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    So in regards to the mid-pct punishes, I've only really been doing downthrow to dashback fullhop chop, what exactly is this ftilt thing? Do I just ftilt immediately afterwards regardless of DI? Do i need to wd towards him first before ftilting? thanks
     
  10. BluEG

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    wd -> ftilt

    Ftilting on Marth at mid % pushes him towards an unfavorable position. Its not necessarily a combo or gauranteed punish, but basically dashdance and wd around until he commits to a move and you can wavedash in and ftilt.

    Also, upward's angling it is really good.
     
    #10 BluEG, Feb 11, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  11. Soupeschleg

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    Getting Marth "cornered" after an ftilt at mid percent puts Luigi in such a good position. From there, you just wait until they panic with some sort of response... attack (hail mary fsmash) or avoid (roll in/jump to platform) usually because they're under positional pressure. Edgeguarding Marth is fun.

    Edit: Or they can take the "avoid" option (they are under positional pressure, remember) which usually involves rolling in or jumping to a platform. If you predict this response, you can pretty much take the stock ezpz
     
    #11 Soupeschleg, Feb 11, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  12. Madcowdesease

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    Sorry if I was unclear, but you said ftilt out of forward throw was the thing i was curious about. I'm pretty sure marth goes too far for just a ftilt to hit after a forward throw, and I wasn't sure if wding forward to ftilt is actually fast enough.
     
  13. BluEG

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    Yeah, I see what you're saying.
    Once you use up throw/Down throw a lot, when you fthrow as a mixup yet usually won't expect it and just stand there lol.

    Have to wavedash first
     
  14. Griffard

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    ^^zack-amatac-ally. Throw that foot out while holding the stick in the direction of your super-quick wd and it catches them pretty often. Especially if you tilt that ish up.
     
  15. The Carpenter

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    Really good stuff BluEG, I feel like everybody understands the concept of rock paper scissor in smash, but to actually read a run down of it written out makes it instantly more understandable and also makes it into something that the reader can now actively and effective think about during a match. I have no doubt that having read that is going to help me in a big way so thanks!
     
  16. elephantoe

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    I have a friend who's a marth main, and just reading this I understand how he plays a bit better. Crazy how character specific guides can often help one understand nearly amy character better. Also, as Luigi main, thank you, this was a really good, concise guide. Thanks a ton, and wavedash on!
     
  17. P@RA

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    Just wanted to say @BluEG, that because of this little guide, I've improved a lot and beat a really good NE player Mr. Tuesday in tourney at a Game Over weekly in Boston. I've only been playing since June 2014, but because of the Luigi boards and the cool people on here, I feel like I leveled up so much.

    Thanks man!
     
  18. BluEG

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    I'm so glad for you, man. Really means a lot to me to know I've helped someone out in improving their game :)))
    Keep it up. There's so much in this game and it's beyond rewarding to learn and succeed in it.
     
  19. Cubelarooso

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    I'd just like to remind everyone that this is the most remarkable model I have ever seen.
    Gravity is the ravings of a lunatic and germs are the observation of a child compared to this.
     
    #19 Cubelarooso, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015

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