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Axe's Pikachu Matchup Guides (Falco added)

Discussion in 'Pikachu' started by AXE 09, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. AXE 09

    AXE 09
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    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,825
    Location:
    Avondale, AZ
    About This Guide:
    This is a guide created to show and teach how I personally handle all of the matchups listed below. There are many ways that you can approach any matchup, but you can follow this guide for an idea of how I am able to overcome all of them and implement it into your gameplay. The beauty of this game is that you can play it many different ways and become successful, so study this guide and build on your own playstyle to handle all of those pesky high tiers!

    FOX
    Matchup Ratio (in my opinion): 60/40 Fox
    Fox's best stages: Pokemon Stadium
    Pikachu's best stages: FD/FoD

    Fox's main advantages:
    • Overall speed is greater than Pikachu's
    • Lasers can force approaches
    • Jab or Nair combos into Usmash for true kill setup at higher percents
    • Uthrow -> Uair or Bair are true combos and not too difficult to land.
    • Well-placed Nairs can stop most of Pikachu's approaches
    • Dair combos into grab
    Pikachu's main advantages:
    • Can Uair/Usmash out of shield when being shield pressured with shine -> Nair
    • Great combo/techchase game
    • Can kill fox at very low percents using offstage tailspikes
    • Shinespikes aren't anywhere near as effective against Pikachu due to his recovery
    • Has a long chaingrab against Fox
    • Can counter cross-ups using Uair out of shield, which starts a combo
    Overview:
    Fox: The best character in the game. He may be rated the highest and probably the most commonly used character, but he has plenty of weaknesses that you can exploit. Fox has excellent speed and power with all of his moves, but he is very fragile when hit with a combo starter or thrown off stage. One thing you have to remember when playing against the best character is that every single player has habits. It's up to you to pick up on them, and force your opponent to make a bad move. In the case of Fox, it really only takes one opening to secure a stock as long as you get a good hit. How are you supposed to go about doing that? Well, let's go ahead and jump into the most important part of any matchup:

    The Neutral Game: How to approach and counter-attack:

    The main thing you need to familiarize yourself with is what Fox players like to do when neither player is at an advantageous position. If you are far away from Fox, he basically has two options: either shoot lasers at you forcing you to approach, or run towards you to gain stage space and offensive pressure.

    If Fox decides to shoot lasers, you don't have much of a choice except to approach him unless you are confident with your powershields. From experience, I've learned that the best thing to do is to close space on him so that he's forced to either shield in fear of an attack, or begin approaching you with a close ranged attack. The reason why it's advantageous to take stage space is because you have plenty of room to retreat and counter-attack if he decides to come after you. So, what are you supposed to do when he's closer to you?

    OFFENSIVE APPROACHES:
    Approach with a move that knocks him down. When Fox is at low percents, you have 3 main moves to do this: Grab (Uthrow), Dsmash, or Uair. Usmash can also work, but your opponent CAN crouch cancel it at extremely low percents to punish. A more defensive Fox will tend to shield more, meaning that a running Jump Cancelled (JC) grab should be pretty effective. However, some of them like to spot dodge expecting a grab. That's when a running past them into a Dsmash works (run -> crouch -> Dsmash). If they decide to not spot dodge and continue shielding, it's pretty difficult for Fox to get any sort of good punish out of shield when you are behind him. You may get hit with a Bair which doesn't really do anything if you aren't at a high percent. The next thing you can do is use wavedashes and shields to approach with your back turned to him using Uairs. If one hits, it leads into a combo. You can mix Short Hopped auto-cancelled Uairs with Full Jump Uairs. If Fox is at mid-higher percents, that's when it becomes safe to start using SH Nairs as an approach. At low percents, it can be crouch cancelled so be careful about that. Otherwise, Nair is an amazing approaching option that becomes available to you when you get Fox to mid and higher percents.

    *Note: Dtilt is a great overlooked approaching option as well. It's a very quick poke move that pushes them into a perfect position for a Nair approach at mid percents, or you can grab them right after if they don't react quickly enough at low percents. Try mixing run cancelled Dtilts into your play (run -> crouch -> dtilt) and see the results.

    UP-CLOSE MOVEMENTS:
    Utilize Dash Dances and Wavedashes. The reason for this is to get Fox to try to attack you in the wrong spot. If he approaches with SH Nair (Fox's most common approach move) during your dash dance, you can just dash away at any given moment (wavedashes can work too!), making him whiff his attack, allowing you to counterattack by dashing back in and grabbing or Usmashing. This also counters the option of rolling behind you which a lot of players tend to do. You can JC grab out of a dash dance, allowing you to punish rolls accordingly.

    SHIELDING:
    When you are against a higher level player, they know that you are trying to bait out an attack at the wrong spot. So they will time their attack to be much further than normal. This is when just shielding beats that option. If you shield and he goes for that long overshot Nair, he will hit your shield early allowing you to counterattack with Uair out of shield. Sometimes Fox will go for a running shine as a crossup, but shielding it then Uair out of shield also beats that as long as he only shines once. If he runs into a double shine, getting hit by the second shine really won't do any harm to you since he's travelling in the opposite direction. Just make sure you ground tech.

    POWERSHIELDING: REFUSING TO APPROACH
    Powershielding lasers is a legit strategy with enough 20xx practice. If you are too far away, Fox can do very fast standing lasers which are impossible to powershield. The idea is to stay in a mid-range so that you can threaten to punish him if he does standing lasers. This forces him to do either Short Hop Lasers or Short Hop Double Lasers. If he decides to do SHDL's, just keep in mind that the first laser will go too high to hit you as long as you don't jump, so you only have to worry about powershielding the second laser. With his strategy, essentially YOU are laser-camping HIM. It's a great feeling and can really get in the head of an opponent who relies on lasers and defensive play.

    TL;DR of The Neutral Game:
    • Close space between you and your opponent
    • Approach with crossup running Dsmash, JC grab, or Uairs with your back turned at low percents
    • Approach with Nairs/Dtilts at higher percents
    • Use Dash Dances and Wavedashes to make him whiff attacks and punish with Grab/Usmash
    • Shield up close against players who like to overshoot attacks
    • Powershield Fox lasers at mid stage distance to make him approach you


    Combos:

    Keep in mind that your main combo moves against Fox are Uair, Uthrow, and Usmash. All three of these moves link together very well and are essential for keeping your combos going. Dsmash and Utilt can also work as combo starters, although the above three mentioned moves are definitely your best.

    FROM UAIR:
    The initial hit from Uair that begins from behind Pikachu is amazing as a combo starter. If you hit Fox with a SH Uair or a falling Uair, it will combo into either a grab or a Usmash until mid percentages. If you hit with a Full Jump rising Uair, you can do one of three things. 1) Fast Fall to the ground and grab/Usmash before they hit the ground, 2) FF Nair into dash backwards grab or Ftilt (great next to ledges, and will work with any DI except for away), or 3) FF and hit with another Uair on your way down. Keep in mind that they CAN avoid a true combo by DIing your Uair far behind you, but hitting with an initial Uair is so quick that they usually can't react in time. If they do DI away, it leads into a techchase scenario.
    After mid percentages, Fox will start going too high to combo into Usmash from the ground which means you will have to follow up with either a Nair/Bair to send him off stage, or hit with 1 - 2 more Uairs to combo him into platforms. If you can combo him to the top platform with a few more Uairs, it can combo into Usmash for even earlier kills. You also of course have Thunder if Usmash does not kill from there and they don't DI your Usmash away.

    FROM GRAB -> UTHROW:
    Assuming your opponent DI's either left or right, Uthrow will combo into either another grab or a Usmash starting at around 12%. This means it's important that you have to get 1 - 3 hits in with any of your moves before doing true combos from Uthrow. Even if you do get a grab below 12%, you can still Uthrow and go for a techchase instead. Uthrow is especially powerful on Final Destination, where there are no platforms he can escape to. You can chaingrab with Uthrow -> JC grab and finish with Uthrow -> Usmash when he is at a high percent. Since the knockback of Uthrow doesn't change very drastically by damage, he can chaingrab with Uthrows until 100%+.
    Another mixup is Uthrow -> Nair at mid-higher percentages if you want to get him offstage, or go for a techchase instead.

    FROM USMASH:
    At very low percentages, Usmash won't pop them up high enough for a true combo, so you will need to go for a techchase instead. From somewhere around 18% - 25%, Usmash can combo into another Usmash or a grab. For any percentages higher than that, Usmash can combo into any aerial attack. You can either finish with a Nair to knock him offstage, or go for a Uair which can lead into either a Usmash or a grab on a platform. Usmash into Uair is fantastic for continuing combos onto platforms, but keep in mind that they can DI away to avoid further combos. This is when you can mix in Nairs instead of Uair to knock them offstage. If they DI away, they will be even further offstage allowing for a higher chance of a successful edgeguard.

    FROM DSMASH:
    Downsmash is a fantastic move at low percents because of it's anti-crouch cancel mechanics. If you hit with it and they try to DI behind you, it can combo into either a grab or a Usmash. If they DI away however, they can escape with DI away and tech away if they have enough stage space (this is another reason why taking stage space is advantageous). If you Dsmash them anywhere close to a ledge though, you have enough space to cover every tech option they can do with a reaction techchase. Dsmash isn't normally a move you use in between combos though, mainly because if you Dsmash a non-grounded opponent, they tend to escape the Dsmash before the final hit connects making your combo end. So keep in mind, this is generally only a combo/techchase starter.
    USAGE OF UTILT:
    Utilt can also be used in between combos for that extra percentage rack up. Utilt can be used after a Uthrow, Usmash, Dsmash, or Uair to link into another grab, Usmash, or Uair. The reward you get for landing a Utilt isn't very good though, so I don't bother with it for the most part. But the best usage of Utilt from my experience is after jab resets. Jab reset -> Utilt pops them up perfectly to link into another one of your combo moves, so try it out!
    TECHCHASING:
    This is when you land a knockdown hit on Fox but cannot do a "true" combo off of it. The techchase scenarios particularly tend to happen after Usmash/Dsmash at very low percents, or off of Nair at mid percentages. I can't stress enough how important controlling stage space is during techchases, because the best thing you can possibly do is knock down a Fox either by a ledge or a platform. Doing so basically cuts his options in half since not teching, teching in place, or techrolling towards the ledge can all be covered with one Usmash with the timing of covering tech in place. So really, you're looking to cover tech in place, or tech behind you. You can punish techs with Usmash, Grab, or Dsmash which all lead into a combo or another techchase.
    If you have to techchase in the middle of the stage, the best thing you can do is wavedash to position yourself so that he is right in front of you when he lands, then put your reaction skills to the test. You can techchase using either grabs or Usmashes, and also jab resets on missed techs into Utilt/Usmash/Fsmash (to get him offstage)/Grab.
    Sometimes what I like to do is cover 3 out of 4 options by dash dancing in between where he lands, and where he will end up if he tries to roll behind me. It's much easier to control that amount of space and gives you less that you need to focus on, making it much easier on you. This type of techchase can be automatically set up though if you knock him down by a ledge, so do your best to make that happen whenever possible.

    TL;DR of combos:

    At low percents:
    • FJ Uair -> FF -> Grab/Usmash
    • FJ Uair -> FF Uair -> Grab/Usmash
    • FJ Uair -> FF Nair -> Grab/Ftilt by ledge
    • SH Uair -> Grab/Usmash
    • Uthrow (chaingrab) -> Usmash (or Nair to get offstage)
    • Dsmash -> Grab/Usmash or techchase (depends on DI)
    At mid percents:
    • Uthrow -> Nair/Usmash
    • Uair (1 - 3 times depending on platforms) -> land on platform -> Usmash/Grab
    • Nair -> Techchase with Usmash or Grab
    At high percents:
    • Uthrow -> Usmash -> Thunder
    • Uthrow -> Nair if platform is in the way, or they DI offstage
    • Uair -> Nair/Bair
    Tech chasing:
    • Wavedash right next to where he lands
    • Jab reset -> Utilt/Usmash/Grab/Fsmash (to get him offstage)
    • Easier to cover 3 out of 4 options by Dash Dancing between where he lands, and where he will end up if he rolls behind you
    • Knocking him down by a ledge or platform makes it much easier to techchase
    • Punish techs with Grab, Usmash, or Dsmash

    Edgeguarding:

    How do you kill Fox when you have him offstage?

    IF FOX IS RECOVERING FROM BELOW:

    Your bread and butter edgeguard technique is Ftilt -> Tailspike. Pikachu's Ftilt is a pretty great move just by itself. The hitbox on it has quite a bit of range and stays out for a long time, meaning it will beat out Firefox and Illusion. You can also angle your ftilt upwards or downwards. Doing a downward angled Ftilt in particular is fantastic for stopping a Firefox sweetspot from below. If you hit Fox out of his up-b using Ftilt at mid percentages, that's when you can run off the stage into a double jump tailspike to secure the kill. If Fox is at a low percent however, he has the option to fall further down to be closer to the stage. In this situation, you can fall down and do a Dair instead while still being able to up-b back on stage. If he decides to only drop about halfway, then your offstage Dair can combo into a double jump tailspike. The main thing to remember is drop down and Dair if he falls close to the stage, and drop down and tailspike if your Ftilt hits at a mid percentage making him go further away.

    IF FOX STILL HAS HIS DOUBLE JUMP AND CAN GO HIGH:

    This is when thunderjolts come in handy. A general kill setup I do vs. Fox is throw him offstage, then immediately do a Full Jump thunderjolt. It will cover most immediate double jump options that he does, and if it hits him, you can run offstage and do a double jump tailspike for the kill. If it doesn't hit him, he can either Firefox or Illusion towards you. In the case of an illusion towards you, be ready to Ftilt him out of it. A lot of Fox players like to illusion when they are at low percent because they want to get back to the stage quickly. Ftilt can stop any attempt to illusion towards the ledge or slightly higher to either hit you or go slightly over you. If he Illusions towards the stage very high, then you can dash backwards, punish with a back throw, and repeat the process all over again.
    In the case of a Firefox, be ready to Ftilt to cover the ledge for an attempted sweetspot. If you Ftilt him out of it, you can edgeguard by dropping down and tailspiking or using Dair as normal. If he goes high, even if you used an Ftilt, you still have enough time to jump up and attempt to hit him with a tailspike to send him back offstage. He can drift either left or right making it difficult to get the right hitbox for the tailspike, but even getting the "popup" hitbox from Uair can be good so you can get a combo off of it. If he is at a higher percent, Nair will be better to hit him back offstage. Nair will be much easier to land, but will not work at lower percentages.
    IF FOX IS AT HIGH PERCENT AND FAR OFFSTAGE:

    Grabbing the ledge into a ledge hop Nair is the best option here. What you want to do is grab the ledge right before he would reach it if he were to go straight for it. That way, you will have ledge invincibility and be able to edgehog without even needing to roll. If he decides to go higher, you will have enough time to react with a ledge hop Nair to secure the kill.
    TL;DR of Edgeguarding:
    • Ftilt -> Tailspike
    • Ftilt -> Dair (-> Double jump -> Tailspike)
    • Hit/Throw offstage -> FJ Thunderjolt -> Tailspike
    • Be ready to Ftilt Illusions or a sweetspotted Firefox from above
    • Grab ledge when Fox recovers from very far away at high % and ledgehop Nair if he goes high

    Defensive Techniques

    What are you supposed to do if you get hit or are in a bad position?

    AT LOWER PERCENTS:
    Fox players like to approach with either Nair or Dair, and combo that into either shine or grab. The fact that you fall over after being shined really helps you in this matchup, because it means he does not get any true combos after landing a shine. You really don't need to know whether a shine or a grab is coming though, because there's a way you can be ready to defend against both of them!
    In order to recover after shine, you must press L or R BEFORE you get hit with the shine. This will make you ground tech, and if you are holding away (the same direction shine is sending you) during this, you will also tech away making it so that he cannot follow up on you as long as you have enough stage space. If you get shined by a ledge, then don't hold any direction so that you will slide off of the stage, allowing you to grab the ledge.
    If he grabs, then since you are holding away on the control stick, you will also be DIing away. Fox players at this point are likely to either Uair or Bair. In the case of Uair, attempt to SDI the opposite direction Fox is facing. If you get the SDI, then congratulations: you took less damage. If you miss it, then as long as you are holding the opposite direction Fox is facing, the second kick of his Uair will send you the opposite direction he is travelling, allowing for no further followups. If he does a Bair and you attempt the same type of SDI, then you should have just enough time to double jump before he tries to hit you with another attack.
    With this method, the best thing he can get before you escape is Dair/Nair -> Uthrow -> Uair/Bair. You will be at around 30% after that, but that's not too bad.

    AT HIGHER PERCENTS:
    The main things you need to watch out for are Uthrow -> Uair, and jab -> Usmash. The first solution to this is practicing SDI against his Uthrow -> Uair. DOWNLOAD 20XX ON YOUR WII AND PRACTICE. It does wonders practicing against the CPU Fox Uthrow -> Uair. I've found the best way to SDI Fox's Uthrow with no DI is by SDIing the opposite way he is facing, so that you end up behind him. At the exact same time the first kick of his Uair connects, press the control stick the opposite way he is facing and the second kick should miss you if done correctly.
    Against Jab, you can still Crouch Cancel it and even counterattack with CC Usmash/Dsmash/Shield grab. Knowing this, the most effective strategy that works for me is simply crouching a lot at high percentages. You can CC the jab, and if you get grabbed, SDI the Uair when thrown straight up. If Fox comes in with a SH aerial attack instead, you should still have enough time to react with a shield since you can instantly shield out of a crouch.
    DEFENSIVE MOVES/COUNTERS
    Some of your attacks have pretty good disjoint which are useful to get Fox off your back. The best moves for that from my experience are Ftilt, Dsmash, and Full Jump Uair.
    Both Ftilt and Dsmash can completely beat out a Fox Nair approach. If you have a strong feeling that a Nair is coming but you don't have enough stage space or time to dash out of the way, Dsmash is fantastic as a defensive counterattack mostly because you can combo/techchase from it. Ftilt, on the other hand, is much more safe and can beat out both Nair and Dair. Ftilt is especially useful when Fox is at higher percentages because it can knock him offstage, but won't really do much at lower percentages like Dsmash would.
    Full Jump Uairs are especially useful against those Fox players who like to use Full Jumps a lot. The very tip of your FJ Uair in front of you has more disjoint than Fox's Nair, meaning if you hit him with it, it will fling him behind you. This is excellent when you are cornered because it completely flips the situation, allowing you to go for an edgeguard.

    RECOVERING:
    If you are sent offstage at higher percentages after being hit with a Bair/Nair, make sure to save your double jump for as long as possible. Throw a thunderjolt while you are recovering and try to make it hit the ledge, forcing your opponent to get off the ledge, allowing you to sweetspot it with Quick Attack. If you are left without a double jump, this is when you need to get creative with your recovery. You have 3 good options for Quick Attack mixups: 1) sweetspot the ledge, 2) land on stage with minimal lag, or 3) land on a platform. You can land on stage with minimal lag by Quick Attacking horizontally just barely above the ledge, so that you land on stage instantly. This will give you as little lag as possible and allow you to act before Fox can do a normal stand up -> Usmash, assuming he acts at the same time your first zip of Quick Attack comes out. This loses to ledgehop Bair though, so it's almost a 50/50 between going to the ledge or going on stage.
    Going to a platform means you are pretty likely to get hit with a Bair, but if you can double stick tech or your % is low enough so that it won't kill, it's a fantastic option. If you get hit offstage again from there, you now have your double jump which makes it much easier to recover since you can use thunderjolt. Try to get used to using all three options so you can use any of them at any moment!

    TL;DR of Defensive options:
    • When hit with Nair/Dair, be ready to tech the shine
    • If grabbed at low percent, DI away and SDI opposite direction against Uair/Bair
    • SDI Uthrow -> Uair behind Fox
    • Crouch at high percents to avoid and counterattack against jab -> Usmash
    • Ftilt and Dsmash beat his Nair approach
    • Ftilt beats both Nair and Dair approaches. Best used when Fox is at high %
    • FJ Uair facing Fox when cornered against players who like to Full Jump.
    • Throw a thunderjolt when recovering from far away
    • You can Quick Attack to the ledge, on stage with minimal lag, or on a platform. Use all three as mixups.

    Summary

    Fox may be the best character in the game, but you have plenty of tools to handle everything he can throw at you. Your combos are stronger, your edgeguards against him are devastating, and you have great recovery mixups available to you. Always keep in mind that every Fox player has habits. You just have to exploit them to get that one hit that leads into a combo or a kill. If you are still having trouble after this, try looking up some videos on YouTube and DOWNLOAD 20XX ON YOUR WII. It's one of the best tools you can use to help you in this matchup.
    Keep up the good work, Pika players!

    FALCO
    Matchup Ratio (in my opinion): 60/40 Falco
    Falco's best stages: Yoshi's Story/Pokemon Stadium
    Pikachu's best stages: FD


    Falco's main advantages:
    • Lasers restrict Pikachu's movement
    • SHFFL Dair beats most of Pikachu's approaches and defensive options
    • Can combo Pikachu pretty well
    • Jab combos into Nair/Bair at high percents for kills
    • Can approach safely with laser -> grab/jab
    • Has fantastic defensive options to make it difficult for Pikachu to land a good hit
    Pikachu's main advantages:
    • Small size makes Falco Nair less effective in neutral (making Dair predictable)
    • Can counter crossups with Uair out of shield
    • Can combo Falco very well
    • Uair forces knockdowns at any percent and beats everything except laser
    • Can edgeguard Falco very well
    Overview:
    Falco: the laser-spamming powerhouse. He has a ton of tools to make fighting him very annoying, mainly lasers and Dair. Both of those move stop almost everything Pikachu has, and make this matchup very difficult if you are not used to it. However, Pikachu has his strengths too. With enough practice, you can make the Falco player feel as if this matchup is in Pikachu's favor. Let's go ahead and get into the most important part of any matchup:

    The Neutral Game: How to approach and counter-attack:
    Let me just start by saying that you will be utilizing your shield a LOT in this matchup. Pikachu's shield may be small, but it still lasts just as long as any other shield, and you can angle your shield if you are worried about being shield stabbed in certain situations. This matchup basically revolves around "offensive shielding".

    The first and most important thing you need to get used to for handling the neutral game in this matchup is handling LASERS. Because of Falco's lasers, you will be moving much differently than you are used to. In nearly every tournament match I have had against a Falco, it begins by them shooting lasers at me from the get-go. If you have ever played against one, you probably had the same experience.

    Your main goal in the neutral game is to close enough space between the two of you to force him to use a physical attack, or else he will be punished by one of your attacks. The main method you can use to close space is shielding (or powershielding) a laser, then wavedashing out of shield forward. Wavedashing out of shield, or "waveshielding", is pretty much mandatory for handling this matchup. So make sure you practice those waveshields. I personally taught myself to use L to shield, and use R to wavedash in order to make my waveshields more crisp. Using the same trigger to shield and wavedash works too; you just have to remember that you don't have to fully release the trigger to wavedash out of shield. Only the hard press matters for the airdodge. Again, the point of waveshielding forward in between the lasers is to close space between the two of you. Your goal is to get about a roll's distance away from him (maybe slightly further away than that). This way you can threaten to attack him, while having enough time to react to his next move at the same time. If you stay far away the whole time, he has the option to just keep shooting lasers.

    So, what do you do when you successfully get that close to him?

    In short, you can react to whatever he does as long as you are a bit further than a roll away from him. If your reactions skills are really good, you can get even closer. Generally when I get to this distance, I will begin dash dancing in order to bait him to do an attack (which is what you want). Let's go over some of the main ways Falco players tend to approach this situation.

    IF THEY KEEP SHOOTING LASERS:
    The more defensive-type Falco players tend to keep shooting lasers even at close range. After they shoot a laser when you are at a close enough range, you can try shielding it and waveshielding backwards to see what they do. If they simply shoot more lasers, then they are likely to do it multiple times in that situation throughout the set. Every player has habits, and this is a common one I tend to notice.

    To counter this, first make sure you are slightly further than a roll away from him. The goal here is to attack him before his second laser comes out. After he shoots his first laser, shield it and waveshield towards him (do your best to make the wavedash as lenthy as possible, meaning you want your airdodge to be nearly horizontal). The Falco player is likely to begin his short hop in order to shoot his next laser. With that waveshield forward, you should be in range to connect a Dsmash, or dash -> JC grab. You must be quick in order to connect your attack before his laser comes out, so practice that movement to be as smooth as possible. If you successfully connect either of your attacks, it forces a knockdown (unless they have a very quick reaction to SDI Dsmash which doesn't happen to me often) which leads into a techchase. From there, you can focus on the combo game.

    IF THEY APPROACH WITH A SHFFL:
    Pikachu does not handle shield pressure in the front of his shield very well against Falco. This is why getting about a roll's distance away is important, because Falco's dash -> short hop from there will make him land behind you. If he is the type of Falco player that likes to approach with SHFFLs, this is when you need to make use of your shield and bait him into crossing you up.

    Note: It helps a lot to dash dance when you get close to the Falco players who approach this way. You can always shield at any point in your dash dance, and this will encourage them even more to try to cross you up. They'll want to overshoot their aerial just in case if you decide to dash further backwards, which is why this is effective. Just make sure you are facing towards him when you shield his aerial, so that he ends up landing behind you.

    SHFFL Dair is the most common approach from Falco players in this matchup since Pikachu is so short. After his Dair hits your shield, Pikachu can do a rising Uair out of shield. The easy way to do this is pressing and holding Up on the control stick, then pressing A or C-stick Up once you leave the ground. If you are quick enough, a Short Hop Uair is even better if you can do it at the same speed. I do that by pressing X, then tilting up on the control stick and pressing A. It should hit with the hitbox of the Uair that sends him upwards, leading into a combo.

    IF THEY DASH TOWARDS YOU
    Either dash backwards, or wavedash backwards. Both of these have their uses, and this is the reason why approaching him to take stage space is important.

    From a wavedash backwards, Dtilt and Ftilt come in handy for stopping his running shine approach. I find Dtilt to be a bit more effective here since you can move more quickly after it and do it multiple times faster. Ftilt is still very good though because it lasts a long time and has more range than it looks, meaning you do not have to be as accurate with it. If Falco is at very low percents, Dtilt seems to be the best option. After the first Dtilt connects, Falco usually won't go very far if he is trying to shine (meaning he's holding Down), so you can Dtilt multiple times to get him off your back. From there, they will generally either retreat and shoot more lasers, or try to get past you using an approaching SHFFL. If they try to get past you with a SHFFL, react with shield and punish with a rising Uair out of shield. If they retreat, then approach to close distance and repeat the process. You will come out on top if this process continues, because Dtilt will eventually knock him down leading into a techchase. If Falco is not at a very low percent, that's when Ftilt becomes a good (and easier) tool to use since it will push him far away enough for you to not get punished. At very low percents, he will still be able to CC shine your Ftilt. Make sure to recognize how low or high his percentage is.

    From a dash backwards, you will have your back facing towards him which means you have the threat of Uair. More importantly, a retreating Uair while he is dashing at you is the best kind because it seems nearly impossible for him to punish. If possible, Use short hopped Uairs. If one connects, unless he is actually CROUCHING, It will always pop him into the air, leading into a combo (or a techchase if you cannot get the true combo). Even if he does end up crouching your Uair, you still will not be punished for landing it since he has to stop running in order to crouch.

    Important: It can be difficult, but you need to be far away enough to react to whether he approaches with a SHFFL, or simply dashes at you. That is another reason why I recommend staying slightly further than a roll's distance away. If you react incorrectly and simply shield when he dashes towards you, he is likely to either grab you or do a running shine for pressure which puts you at a disadvantage. If you dash or wavedash away when he approaches with an overshot SHFFL Dair, there's a good chance you'll get clipped by it which leads into a combo for him. Stay at a range where you can react. The more you practice, the closer you can get to him while still being able to react to his approaches.

    THE STRENGTHS OF POWERSHIELDING
    Powershielding lasers is a difficult ability to master, but one of the best techniques you could possibly learn in this matchup. DOWNLOAD 20XX AND PRACTICE. You can have Falco shoot lasers at you so you can practice your powershields. Make sure you do a full press quickly without activating your lightshield. If you get good at powershields, it will make the neutral game that much easier.

    From a far distance, you can use powershield -> waveshields to approaching instead of simply shielding a laser and waveshielding. Shooting his own laser back at him will let you build a bit more damage on him while being able to close the distance between the two of you more quickly.

    At a closer distance (a roll's distance away or just a bit further), you have a new great approaching option. If he shoots another laser at this distance, you can powershield it and waveshield towards him. This essentially allows you to approach him with his own laser, so you can connect a powershielded laser into a waveshield grab, Dsmash, or Usmash. Most Falco players will not react to their own laser quickly enough to avoid one of these attacks. Against some of the highest level Falco players who are used to getting their lasers powershielded, they may try to powershield it back at you which just results in you staying in place instead of closing the distance. Be prepared to react to this and either dash backwards or wavedash back as defense. I would recommend not going for the powershield if the Falco proves he can consistently powershield it back at a close distance, but those cases are extremely rare. Against almost every Falco, powershield -> waveshield grab/Usmash/Dsmash works extremely well.

    THE PROJECTILE APPROACH: POWERSHIELDS AND THUNDERJOLTS
    Sometimes if you just can't get your momentum going by using offensive plays, sitting back and using projectiles is a viable strategy. If you can powershield, it makes this strategy much better.

    From a far distance, when Falco shoots a laser, try to powershield it and immediately full jump -> thunderjolt. This will shoot both a laser and a thunderjolt towards him, meaning you can effectively projectile camp him. Take note of how he likes to react to this.

    Some Falco players will simply shine them back at you. If he shines the laser, it should miss you if you do a full jump thunderjolt immediately after. The thunderjolt is what's important. You have a few options here:

    Option 1 is to dash at him, full jump to avoid the reflected thunderjolt, and attack him while he is suffering from shine lag. When the thunderjolt connects with his shine, he will be stuck there for a while allowing you to do an aerial approach. Generally you won't be able to reach him before the shine lag is over, but you can normally be close enough to where he cannot avoid your attack (especially because shielding is not an option for him). I normally go with Dair, because if he chooses to jump out of shine, he will jump into the Dair which is a pretty powerful attack. As long as he is not below around 20%, it should be safe to use, and also forces a knockdown and mid - high percents.

    Option 2 is to swag out with Super WaveDash! To do a SWD, Jump into the air, quick attack downwards, then use your 2nd zip horizontally across the ground into your reflected thunderjolt. You will zip across the level behind him and be able to use any move you like to attack him (grab, dash -> Usmash, Dsmash, Fsmash). This is more of a suprise factor, but it can actually be pretty effective.

    If he chooses to simply shield your thunderjolts and reflected lasers, then just keep doing it. Eventually his shield will become too small to continue, letting you have the advantage. This normally results in him approaching you however, which means you will be forced to go to the edge which isn't actually a bad thing. Pikachu can be very great at the edge, as you can threaten a ledgehop Uair to fling him behind you offstage. Some Falco players will stay at a further distance from the edge so that you cannot connect your Uair and continue shooting lasers. In this case, you can do an invincible ledge dash, powershield his laser again (if you miss the powershield then it's still fine), and do another full jump thunderjolt while drifting off stage. You will be able to double jump and grab the edge, which also threatens a double jump Uair if he gets too close. This has a lot of potential for ledge/projectile camping if you want to go that route and really frustrate your opponent.


    TL;DR of The Neutral Game:
    • Close space between you and Falco by blocking/powershielding lasers, then waveshield forward
    • Get about a roll's distance away from him (maybe a bit further) to react to his approaches
    • Punish close distance lasers with waveshield -> grab/Usmash/Dsmash
    • React to his SHFFL crossup approach with shield, then Uair out of shield
    • React to his dashing approach with WD back or dash back, then Dtilt/SH Uair
    • Powershield -> waveshield -> grab/Dsmash/Usmash at close distance
    • Powershield -> Full Jump thunderjolt, then either full jump approach to punish reflected thunderjolt, or retreat to ledge for defensive play


    Combos:

    Luckily against the two best characters in the game, you basically combo them both exactly the same. If you have read the combo section of my Fox guide, then you already know how to combo Falco. They both act simarly when hit with your attacks, although there may be a 1% or 2% difference of when combos begin/end. In case if you haven't gone through the Fox section of this guide though, here is the entire combo game for both characters.

    Keep in mind that your main combo moves against Falco are Uair, Uthrow, and Usmash. All three of these moves link together very well and are essential for keeping your combos going. Dsmash and Utilt can also work as combo starters, although the above three mentioned moves are definitely your best.

    FROM UAIR:
    The initial hit from Uair that begins from behind Pikachu is amazing as a combo starter. If you hit Falco with a SH Uair or a falling Uair, it will combo into either a grab or a Usmash until mid percentages. If you hit with a Full Jump rising Uair, you can do one of three things. 1) Fast Fall to the ground and grab/Usmash before they hit the ground, 2) FF Nair into dash backwards grab or Ftilt (great next to ledges, and will work with any DI except for away), or 3) FF and hit with another Uair on your way down. Keep in mind that they CAN avoid a true combo by DIing your Uair far behind you, but hitting with an initial Uair is so quick that they usually can't react in time. If they do DI away, it leads into a techchase scenario.
    After mid percentages, Falco will start going too high to combo into Usmash from the ground which means you will have to follow up with either a Nair/Bair to send him off stage, or hit with 1 - 2 more Uairs to combo him into platforms. If you can combo him to the top platform with a few more Uairs, it can combo into Usmash for even earlier kills. You also of course have Thunder if Usmash does not kill from there and they don't DI your Usmash away.

    FROM GRAB -> UTHROW:
    Assuming your opponent DI's either left or right, Uthrow will combo into either another grab or a Usmash starting at around 12%. This means it's important that you have to get 1 - 3 hits in with any of your moves before doing true combos from Uthrow. Even if you do get a grab below 12%, you can still Uthrow and go for a techchase instead. Uthrow is especially powerful on Final Destination, where there are no platforms he can escape to. You can chaingrab with Uthrow -> dash -> JC grab and finish with Uthrow -> Usmash when he is at a high percent. Since the knockback of Uthrow doesn't change very drastically by damage, he can chaingrab with Uthrows until 100%+.
    Another mixup is Uthrow -> Nair at mid-higher percentages if you want to get him offstage, or go for a techchase instead.

    FROM USMASH:
    At very low percentages, Usmash won't pop them up high enough for a true combo, so you will need to go for a techchase instead. From somewhere around 18% - 25%, Usmash can combo into another Usmash or a grab. For any percentages higher than that, Usmash can combo into any aerial attack. You can either finish with a Nair to knock him offstage, or go for a Uair which can lead into either a Usmash or a grab on a platform. Usmash into Uair is fantastic for continuing combos onto platforms, but keep in mind that they can DI away to avoid further combos. This is when you can mix in Nairs instead of Uair to knock them offstage. If they DI away, they will be even further offstage allowing for a higher chance of a successful edgeguard.

    FROM DSMASH:
    Downsmash is a fantastic move at low percents because of it's anti-crouch cancel mechanics. If you hit with it and they try to DI behind you, it can combo into either a grab or a Usmash. If they DI away however, they can escape with DI away and tech away if they have enough stage space (this is another reason why taking stage space is advantageous). If you Dsmash them anywhere close to a ledge though, you have enough space to cover every tech option they can do with a reaction techchase. Dsmash isn't normally a move you use in between combos though, mainly because if you Dsmash a non-grounded opponent, they tend to escape the Dsmash before the final hit connects making your combo end. So keep in mind, this is generally only a combo/techchase starter.
    USAGE OF UTILT:
    Utilt can also be used in between combos for that extra percentage rack up. Utilt can be used after a Uthrow, Usmash, Dsmash, or Uair to link into another grab, Usmash, or Uair. The reward you get for landing a Utilt isn't very good though, so I don't bother with it for the most part. But the best usage of Utilt from my experience is after jab resets. Jab reset -> Utilt pops them up perfectly to link into another one of your combo moves, so try it out!
    TECHCHASING:
    This is when you land a knockdown hit on Falco but cannot do a "true" combo off of it. The techchase scenarios particularly tend to happen after Usmash/Dsmash at very low percents, or off of Nair at mid percentages. I can't stress enough how important controlling stage space is during techchases, because the best thing you can possibly do is knock down Falco either by a ledge or a platform. Doing so basically cuts his options in half since not teching, teching in place, or techrolling towards the ledge can all be covered with one Usmash with the timing of covering tech in place. So really, you're looking to cover tech in place, or tech behind you. You can punish techs with Usmash, Grab, or Dsmash which all lead into a combo or another techchase.
    If you have to techchase in the middle of the stage, the best thing you can do is wavedash to position yourself so that he is right in front of you when he lands, then put your reaction skills to the test. You can techchase using either grabs or Usmashes, and also jab resets on missed techs into Utilt/Usmash/Fsmash (to get him offstage)/Grab.
    Sometimes what I like to do is cover 3 out of 4 options by dash dancing in between where he lands, and where he will end up if he tries to roll behind me. It's much easier to control that amount of space and gives you less that you need to focus on, making it much easier on you. This type of techchase can be automatically set up though if you knock him down by a ledge, so do your best to make that happen whenever possible.

    TL;DR of combos:

    At low percents:
    • FJ Uair -> FF -> Grab/Usmash
    • FJ Uair -> FF Uair -> Grab/Usmash
    • FJ Uair -> FF Nair -> Grab/Ftilt by ledge
    • SH Uair -> Grab/Usmash
    • Uthrow (chaingrab) -> Usmash (or Nair to get offstage)
    • Dsmash -> Grab/Usmash or techchase (depends on DI)
    At mid percents:
    • Uthrow -> Nair/Usmash
    • Uair (1 - 3 times depending on platforms) -> land on platform -> Usmash/Grab
    • Nair -> Techchase with Usmash or Grab
    At high percents:
    • Uthrow -> Usmash -> Thunder
    • Uthrow -> Nair if platform is in the way, or they DI offstage
    • Uair -> Nair/Bair
    Tech chasing:
    • Wavedash right next to where he lands
    • Jab reset -> Utilt/Usmash/Grab/Fsmash (to get him offstage)
    • Easier to cover 3 out of 4 options by Dash Dancing between where he lands, and where he will end up if he rolls behind you
    • Knocking him down by a ledge or platform makes it much easier to techchase
    • Punish techs with Grab, Usmash, or Dsmash

    Edgeguarding:

    Again, edgeguarding Falco is very similar to edgeguarding Fox. However, some things will be easier and others will be harder. His double jump goes much higher than Fox's does, and his Phantasm (forward-b) is a meteor attack meaning you need to react with a meteor cancel if you get hit by it while airborne. On the easier side though, the startup of his up-b does not have a hitbox, nor can it travel as far as Fox's (as well as his forward-b). Most of this section will be the same as Fox, but there are some key differences you need to watch out for.

    IF FALCO IS RECOVERING FROM BELOW:

    Your bread and butter edgeguard technique is Ftilt -> Tailspike. Pikachu's Ftilt is a pretty great move just by itself. As mentioned earlier, the hitbox on it has quite a bit of range and stays out for a long time, meaning it will beat out Firebird and Phantasm. You can also angle your ftilt upwards or downwards. Doing a downward angled Ftilt in particular is fantastic for stopping a Firebird sweetspot from below. If you hit Falco out of his up-b using Ftilt at mid percentages, that's when you can run off the stage into a double jump tailspike to secure the kill. As opposed to Fox, the startup of Firebird does not have a hitbox! This means you can safely fastfall through him and double jump -> Tailspike without having to worry about getting hit before the Firebird takes off. If Falco is at lower percents, he will fall down closer to the stage. In this situation, you can fall down and do either Nair, Dair, or Fair. A soft hit nair is probably preferred here, as it comes out earlier and has more range behind him than Fair. It also can link into either a double jump -> tailspike or you can quick attack through him and grab the edge, making him drop even further down. From there, just roll to edge hog. The main thing to remember is drop down and Nair if he falls close to the stage, and drop down and tailspike if your Ftilt hits at a mid percentage making him go further away.

    IF FALCO STILL HAS HIS DOUBLE JUMP AND CAN GO HIGH:

    This is when thunderjolts come in handy. Keep in mind that Falco's double jump goes higher than Fox's, although not by an insane amount. Generally vs. Fox, I will throw him offstage then immediately do a Full Jump thunderjolt. However, since Falco can go even higher than Fox, a double jump -> thunderjolt is normally necessary to catch the very high Phantasms. If it hits him, you can run offstage and do a double jump tailspike for the kill. If it hits him when he is very high up from his double jump, he has the option to use Phantasm immediately, so be prepared to Ftilt him out of it. If it doesn't hit him, he can either Firebird or Phantasm towards you.

    In the case of a Phantasm towards you, be ready to Ftilt him out of it. A lot of Falco players like to illusion when they are at low percent because they want to get back to the stage quickly. Ftilt can stop any attempt to Phantasm towards the ledge or slightly higher to either hit you or go slightly over you. If he does a Phantasm towards the stage very high, then you can dash backwards, punish with a back throw, and repeat the process all over again.
    In the case of a Firebird, be ready to Ftilt to cover the ledge for an attempted sweetspot. If you Ftilt him out of it, you can edgeguard by dropping down and tailspiking or using Nair as normal. If he goes high, even if you used an Ftilt, you still have enough time to react to which way he drifts afterwards. If he drifts behind you, simply grab him and Bthrow him offstage to go for another edgeguard. If he drifts in front of you towards the ledge, do another Ftilt and secure the kill by running off and hitting him with a Nair or a Tailspike.
    IF FALCO IS AT HIGH PERCENT AND FAR OFFSTAGE:

    Grabbing the ledge is the best option here. What you want to do is grab the ledge right before he would reach it if he were to go straight for it. That way, you will have ledge invincibility and be able to edgehog without even needing to roll. If he decides to go higher to try to drift on stage, you will have enough time to react with a ledge hop Nair to secure the kill.
    TL;DR of Edgeguarding:
    • Ftilt -> Tailspike
    • Ftilt -> Nair (-> Double jump -> Tailspike/Quick Attack through him -> sweetspot edge)
    • Hit/Throw offstage -> Double Jump Thunderjolt -> Ftilt/Tailspike
    • Be ready to Ftilt Phantasms or a sweetspotted Firebird from above
    • Grab ledge when Falco recovers from very far away at high % and ledgehop Nair if he goes high

    Defensive Techniques

    What are you supposed to do if you get hit or are in a bad position?

    HOW TO DI FALCO COMBOS:
    Falco's bread-and-butter combos normally begin with connecting a Dair into a shine. Your main goal if caught in a combo is to GO OFFSTAGE. Falco cannot follow you offstage safely, and in order to take minimal damage, this is the best place to go to make the combo end. DIing towards the middle of the stage will only get you stuck in the combo for longer.

    The most important factor of DIing against him correctly is which way you DI his shine. You want to hold the direction that's AWAY from Falco most of the time. This means if you are on the left side of him, hold left (and of course hold right if you are on the right side of him). This will make it more difficult for him to follow up since you will get sent further away. The only time when you should DI the opposite direction (towards him) is if the edge is very close. That way, he will only be able to connect 2 or 3 more hits at best if you keep holding your control stick towards the edge. If you get shined when you are close to the middle of the stage, then definitely hold the direction that is AWAY from Falco (if you are on his left side, hold left) and continue to hold that direction until you are offstage. SDI also comes in handy here, because if the Falco player is quick enough, he may be able to land a Dair on the opposite side of you making you stuck in the combo even longer. Try to SDI the direction you wish to travel as well, to ensure that you land on the correct side of him to go offstage.

    All of this in short basically means DI OFFSTAGE. Practice your sweetspot recoveries so that you can grab the ledge after you go offstage, which will allow you to reset the situation and focus on the neutral game again. Getting shined in the middle of the stage generally means you'll take 3 - 5 hits against a good Falco player before you go offstage, meaning you'll end at around 45% before you get offstage. This means that with good DI, you can get hit by a good combo about 3 times per stock. Don't let getting hit by a combo get to your head. You can punish him even harder than he can punish you (and you have gimps), so grab the ledge, get back on stage, and focus again on winning the neutral game. You got this.

    About grabs: If he lands a grab, he is likely to Uthrow since it leads into a true combo unless you SDI the lasers. Falco will shoot 3 lasers from his Uthrow, and you can mash upwards on the control stick to go as high as possible. If done successfully, he will not be able to follow up. If you are not confident with attempted SDI though, simply hold the same direction Falco is facing so that you will only get hit by 1 attack, then go too far for further followups. If Falco uses Dair after Uthrow when you are at mid percents, be prepared to tech in place, allowing you to move before he reaches the ground.

    AT HIGHER PERCENTS:
    Watch out for jabs and Dtilts

    When you are at higher percents, you'll notice Falco players will start throwing out a lot more jabs in order to combo into a strong Bair/Nair for the kill. Make that in the neutral game, you stay about a roll's distance away from him so that he will be too far away to connect jab. Also something to keep in mind if the situation arises, you can Crouch Cancel his jab even at high percents, and punish with Dsmash/Usmash. So if you know for sure that a jab is coming, you can actually get hit by one on purpose and punish him. Furthermore, if he actually does connect a jab that you cannot crouch cancel, he will not be able to follow up as long as you DI the jab away from him. Jab is too quick to react to though, so you have to see it coming ahead of time. From my experience, your best bet is to just stay a roll's distance away from him and keep playing the neutral game.

    Falco players will also try to land a laser -> Dtilt to secure the kill. Again, the counter to this is to play the neutral game and stay about a roll's distance from him. At that distance, he cannot do a SH Laser towards you into a Dtilt without crossing you up, which you can punish with Uair OOS like you would if he were to do a crossup SHFFL.

    It's kind of frightening to be that close to him when you are at high percents, but it's definitely not good if you stay further away from him. You give him the option to approach safely with laser -> jab and laser -> Dtilt. If you stay close enough to him, you take both of those options away from him and focus on your general neutral game. Reaction is key here, as you need to react to the type of approach he does.

    One more thing: If you are at a high enough percent and you are playing the neutral game like normal, the main attacks he lands will stop leading into combos. If you react incorrectly and dash backwards when he approaches with SHFFL Dair, you'll DI away from him (since you are dashing backwards), allowing for no further followups. If you react incorrectly with shield when he dashes at you and starts shine pressure, getting hit by a shine will send you too high for him to combo. Also if you find yourself in that situation, you can hold away so that the shine will send you further, which gives you more of a guarantee that he can't follow up.

    RECOVERING:
    Sometimes Falco players will end their combos with Bair, sending you high offstage. If you are in this situation, make sure to save your double jump for as long as possible. Throw out thunderjolts while recovering in order to keep your opponent off the ledge. Most Falco players will shoot lasers at you while you are offstage. You can actually throw out multiple thunderjolts more quickly this way, using his lasers to cut the end lag Pikachu has after shooting a thunderjolt. This should allow you to sweetspot the ledge with Quick Attack safely. If you are left without a double jump, this is when you need to get creative with your recovery. You have 3 good options for Quick Attack mixups:
    1) Sweetspot the ledge,
    2) Land on a platform, or
    3) Land on stage with minimal lag. You can land on stage with minimal lag by Quick Attacking horizontally just barely above the ledge, so that you land on stage instantly. This will give you as little lag as possible and allow you to act before Falco can punish you with a strong attack (Dtilt, Fsmash), assuming he acts at the same time your first zip of Quick Attack comes out. This loses to ledgehop Bair/Dair though, so it's almost a 50/50 between going to the ledge or going on stage.
    Going to a platform means you are pretty likely to get hit with a shine -> waveland. This is when you need to react to which side Falco is about to shine you on. If you successfully DI the Shine away from him and are sent towards the middle of the stage, it will only allow him to land a Dair or Nair if he moves quickly enough. Nair normally won't be powerful enough to kill you as long as you DI it correctly, and you can DI Dair off the opposite side of the stage to safely recover. It will not be powerful enough to kill you off the bottom from that high up. If he shines the opposite side of you when you land on the platform, you can simply DI it back offstage, allowing for no further followups. Try to get used to using all three options so you can use any of them at any moment!

    TL;DR of Defensive options:
    • DI Falco combos away from him and go offstage
    • SDI lasers upwards after he lands a Uthrow, or simply keep DIing in front of him if not confident with SDI
    • Stay a roll's distance away (play the neutral game) to avoid laser -> jab/Dtilt at higher percents
    • Throw thunderjolts when recovering from far away
    • You can Quick Attack to the ledge, on stage with minimal lag, or on a platform. Use all three as mixups.

    Summary
    Falco is a very hard-hitting character, but you have to remember that you can hit him back even harder. This is a very reaction based matchup, and learning how to waveshield smoothly helps with this matchup immensely. I might say that it is the most important technique in this matchup, so make sure to practice! Do not be afraid of him, and put yourself at a close distance to make him do uncomfortable approaches. Lastly, don't panic if you get hit with a combo. Just DI offstage, accept the damage, and focus on the neutral game again.
    Keep up the good work, Pika players!
     
    #1 AXE 09, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
    Anop, Goomy, _greenbean and 38 others like this.
  2. AXE 09

    AXE 09
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    Smash Master

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    First Kappa
     
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  3. AXE 09

    AXE 09
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    Smash Master

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    Second PiKappa
     
    Anop, Krusteaz, Flossy and 5 others like this.
  4. Jim Jam Flim Flam

    Jim Jam Flim Flam
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    Damn, this is an awesome guide! It's really good that you wrote this for those newer Pikachu players who aren't familiar with combos on spacies. I really appreciate your work man, and I look forward to more of these in the future. Good luck!
     
    zman804 likes this.
  5. Varist

    Varist
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    Smash Lord

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    Really comprehensive, super organized. I'd love to see this same format expanded onto match up guides for every character.
     
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  6. 1MachGO

    1MachGO
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    Smash Ace

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    @AXE 09 Great guide, man. Out of curiosity, where do you think Pikachu's other match up ratios stand?
     
  7. _trix_

    _trix_
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    Smash Apprentice

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    Fun fact, 143 people are currently viewing this thread and I've never seen more than 3 at a time on here lol. YOU SPEAK LIFE INTO THE PEOPLE AXE!!!
     
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  8. _trix_

    _trix_
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    Smash Apprentice

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    I'm not as good as axe, but in my professional opinion, they're all 100-0 in bowsers favor.
     
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  9. Barry BlaZe

    Barry BlaZe
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    Nice specialized guide axe!
     
  10. herbmaster%

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    my dankchu is 420XX

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    sub on twitch so we can get more guides and dank pika emotes
     
  11. WhizKid

    WhizKid
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    What ledge stall tactics are there for pikachu? Also what are safe and unsafe ways for pika to get back on stage from the ledge? @AXE 09
     
  12. AirFair

    AirFair
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    Marth tho

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    yoo this is sick!
     
  13. Leoh

    Leoh
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    great post
     
  14. XA-tan

    XA-tan
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    Thanks Axe, you tha best
     
  15. Dunner

    Dunner
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    Smash Rookie

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    This is so fantastic thank you so much Axe!

    I have one question: Is it possible for the fox to place his up air so that its not SDI-able in the opposite direction for a pika? For example hitting me with the right edge of the first hitbox while you SDI to the left (considering fox is facing to the right) and still hitting me with the 2nd hit? So that I have to properly react to with which part of the hitbox he is going to hit me and I need to SDI the other way?
     
    #15 Dunner, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  16. didds

    didds
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    Smash Lord

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    Maybe announcers will stop wondering why you use dsmash in neutral now
     
  17. proxibomb

    proxibomb
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    Smash Clown

    • Premium
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    Can't wait to see Falco and Sheik. Those are some of the hardest MUs for me.
     
    Dunner likes this.
  18. SSBM_Lan

    SSBM_Lan
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    Smash Cadet

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    Feb 13, 2016
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    Thanks for the guide Axe, looking forward to seeing the Pikachu vs Samus matchup.
     
  19. _trix_

    _trix_
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    @WhizKid to ledge stall you can either fastfall from the ledge and sweet spot a double jump(this isn't 100% safe so I wouldn't spam it) or you can let go, jump, and up b into the ledge, which, if done fast enough, can make you invincible the entire time, making it basically the pikachu equivalent of a sheno-stall. The second one is a lot harder, so until you are good enough at it to be completely invincible, I would stick with sweet spotting a jump. But in general, you don't really need a stall. To get off the ledge you can just invincible ledge dash(and pikachus ledge dash is one of the best in the game) and will have time to do almost anything before you run out of invincibility. You can even do a running SH nair before your invincibility runs out. If you really want to do something else, your other options include ledge hop fair, double jump air dodge onto a platform, the standard roll/getup/getupattack, and up b's angles onto platforms(like doing an up b straight onto a platform, up B ing onto the top platform, jumping and up b'ing straight on.) Ledge-dash is just plain better than all of these though, except for up b ing onto the top platform, which can sometimes be good vs floaties because they're slow, but I wouldn't spam it regardless.
     
    Klemes and Dunner like this.
  20. Sycorax

    Sycorax
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    Yes. Fox can place his uair like that. Reacting to which side he is going to hit you on is advisable.
     
    Dunner likes this.
  21. MisterNipNips

    MisterNipNips
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    Smash Cadet

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    Axe, you smart. Matter a fact, you a genius.
     
  22. WhizKid

    WhizKid
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    Smash Rookie

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    Thanks, this is great! I didn't realize he had such a good ledge dash
     
  23. some-call-me-ken

    some-call-me-ken
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    Smash Rookie

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    Fantastic guide Axe, waiting to see Marth/Pika, i do not understand that mu
     
  24. herbmaster%

    herbmaster%
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    my dankchu is 420XX

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    do you know the maximum frames pikachu can abuse ledge invincibility from ledgedashing? or any specific threads you know of that has this info?
     
  25. Sycorax

    Sycorax
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    Kadano's thread. Grounded actionable ledge intangiblity.
     
    herbmaster% likes this.
  26. _trix_

    _trix_
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  27. EZえん

    EZえん
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    Smash Apprentice

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    This is super cool, I literally just decided to pick up pika and I find this from like 2 weeks ago, crazy convenient. I'm very interested in seeing the guides for marth, sheik, falcon. I've mained samus and yoshi for a long time, but sheik and falcon have always been tough for me.
     
  28. Klemes

    Klemes
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    Smash Journeyman

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    What an amazing guide ! Great read. I'm curious to see your guide on pika/marth, as you make it look ez for pika and I really cannot understand it by just watching.
     
  29. GOT_Mokol

    GOT_Mokol
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    Smash Rookie

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    Thanks so much for this!!!!
     
  30. atara

    atara
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    Smash Cadet

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    What do we do about drillgrab? My first guess is "light-shield", which should let Pika slide out of grab range but give him enough space for upsmash oos. If you pivot lightshield you might be able to hit Fox with uair oos actually, 3 frames faster.
     
    #30 atara, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  31. YYJ Turbo

    YYJ Turbo
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    I've been working on the matchup and it's definitely one of the matchups that doesn't really shine until the highest levels of play. Marth's job is to wack you with his big sword and not get grabbed. Pikachu's job is to space perfectly, out-grab Marth and punish harder. Easy right?

    The saving grace in this matchup is that you have some of the best offstage presence in the game and your speed is quite good. You need to outspace with dtilt and threaten with grab. Getting a grab on Marth can often be a guaranteed kill.

    For example, watching Axe at SSC, he backthrows PPU off the ledge a few times. He catches him DI'ing in so Axe immediately goes into dair -> tailspike for the kill. This leads PPU to conclude he must DI out to survive, so Axe jumps out for the dair, sees the DI out and quick attacks to the ledge to prepare for an edge guard. He then blocks Marth with an invincible nair from ledge and gets another kill.

    Your best bet is to stay grounded, be tricky with your movement and don't commit to anything heavy. Once he gets off stage, hit him with anything and he's likely dead. Always hold the ledge, if he's at high percent you can use getup attack or reverse nair (Just jump past him and nair) to knock him back.

    It's definitely a matchup that feels difficult in the neutral but Marth has a lot harder time edgeguarding you than Pikachu has edgeguarding him (Once both are comfortable with their edgeguarding/recovery tools)
     
    EZえん likes this.
  32. Synnett

    Synnett
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    Dragon

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    I can agree with this. :bowsermelee:
     
    _trix_ likes this.
  33. AXE 09

    AXE 09
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    Smash Master

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    I'm sorry it took so long guys, but I finally have Pika vs Falco done lol.

    I kept running into so many problems doing this guide, on top of me deleting it halfway through. That didn't help hahaha. Again, I apologize it took so long but I'm glad I finally finished it. Took much longer than it should have but oh well :p
     
    YYJ Turbo likes this.
  34. #025

    #025
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    Smash Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2015
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    Edmond, Oklahoma
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    zubalo
    I absolutely love your guides! as the premier pika main of Oklahoma (I am still bad) they are a huge help! Thank you!
     
    #34 #025, Oct 23, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  35. YYJ Turbo

    YYJ Turbo
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    Smash Rookie

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    Dec 11, 2015
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    Hey, you're helping out us fellow pika mains so we'll take what we can get! :p

    These resources are just so hugely useful. Pika has a lot of "traps" (really bad things you can do) so I feel like a lot of players shy away from Pika because every MU feels awful until you start to get the hang of the character. These guides really help people get pointed in the right direction.
     

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