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Bowser general discussion thread.

Osmosis124

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My training partner mainly uses sonic (until he decided to start counter picking and play Lucario) and the match up I feel is mostly even if not more in your favor.

The main thing is to get sonic off stage as soon as possible and take as much free damage as you can get, preferably get the kill.
As far as I know, there is no way to escape uthrow into anything, no matter your DI you're getting hit with an aerial.

I like doing full Hop nair in this match up, because if you miss and sonic tries to chase you can waveland backwards a jab to get them into a tech chase.

I keep being told the wario match up is pretty bad for us, but I haven't played a good enough Wario to know, I assume Bite is the move that makes the match up a nightmare.
 

Electric Tuba

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A bunch of bowsers like the sonic matchup. I haven't played a decent sonic, so all I know is when they spin dash, just dash attack them.

I like Bowser v. squirtle, but i haven't played a really good squirtle yet. He has a hard time approaching, so with good spacing and patience you can sort of shut him down.

Wario is scary. The command grab is very good, and combos into waft are a very real threat most of the game. However, I don't think it's an awful matchup (I'm probably not in the majority). At least side b is always side b, not dash grab.
 

Samurai Jack

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What are some of Bowser's general combos against floaties? I like to keep him as a fun pocket character, but I'd like to develop him more.
 

Osmosis124

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I think D throw against Floaties work well at higher percents, and and Up throw at lower percents, along with utilt and the last hit of Upsmash. I usually go for uair as a finisher since it's awesome at vertical kills. Fair is more consistent to hit with and kills at higher percents if you're not too sure uair will hit.
The bite from flame works as a combo starter too but it isn't reliable.
 

GeZ

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I picked Bowser at a homie hangout with some of the better P:M players in my town on a whim and made everyone super mad, which was awesome, but I also wanted to give the character a sincere try. Only one player adapted to the MU, but after he did playing Bowser felt like the biggest struggle. He was playing DK and everything but my jab felt super unsafe. It was super claustrophobic. Can I have somebody break down the Bowser neutral and what he can do in it, or link a post that does? @ Frost | Odds Frost | Odds maybe?
 

Frost | Odds

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@ Samurai Jack Samurai Jack Comboing floaties: Weak (or late - as in, right before you hit the ground) nair and weak fair often combo into stuff. Late nair -> jab -> grab -> uthrow -> fair is a staple of mine. Side b- >uair can work if the opponent's DI is bad. Sometimes weak fair can chain into itself or into strong fair if the opponent DIs badly - much like Marth's fair. Sometimes uthrow -> fair is guaranteed. Sometimes dthrow -> tech chase is guaranteed, sometimes an opponent responds predictably to the dthrow and you can whack him out of his DJ or whatever.

It's highly contextual.

@ GeZ GeZ oh jeez, Bowser's neutral is highly, highly dependent on his opponent. Hopefully soonish i'll be able to make a video on the topic, but for now
- Play as low commitment as possible. When you throw a move out, it usually needs to hit.
- You're probably jumping too much. Jump less.
- Koopa Klaw is not actually a good option against shields, and is very easily spotdodged. Use flame cancel or late nair instead.
- Don't approach.
- Stuff approaches with dtilt/nair/retreating fair
- Always go to the ledge with upb if you can
- You're probably ledge attacking too much. Stop that.
- Jab is eh pretty cool guy
- pls dont fsmash
- Dash attack is your single most threatening option by far in most MUs. Learn to instant dash attack using c stick, and stuff poorly spaced/timed moves with that out of standing/crouch
 
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GeZ

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I'll try jumping less, and try to punish things with DA. Jab is p good. I'll work on stuffing approaches more.

As a side note, if I'm playing against Ivysaur, and she throws a slow razor leave and walks up behind it to grab me out of shield, what are my options besides cry? If I fortress OoS with good timing, will I beat grab?
 

OnFullTilt

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I'll try jumping less, and try to punish things with DA. Jab is p good. I'll work on stuffing approaches more.

As a side note, if I'm playing against Ivysaur, and she throws a slow razor leave and walks up behind it to grab me out of shield, what are my options besides cry? If I fortress OoS with good timing, will I beat grab?
Well for one, learn powershielding. It is perhaps Bowser's best defense against projectiles and it is WAY easier than it sounds. It's made even easier if you crouch by the way. Fortress OOS probably won't help you unless you can drift to the edge and can grab it. Otherwise you won't hit Ivy with the strong hit of upB (the weak one is often punishable on hit) and you'll be a sitting duck since you'll be forced to end it onstage with all of its endlag. Against the leaf, from what I know your good options are A) Jab it out of existence (though depending on Ivy's spacing you might still get grabbed- just be aware) B) Powershield it and completely turn the tables or C) Crawl through it utilizing the crawl armor (which can also lead to a followup, as you can dashattack at any time and I think sometimes you can sneak out a Dtilt between hits even though DTilt doesn't have armor. Dash attack would still be more reliable though). If all of these seem to dangerous at the time you can Wavedash back, and then perhaps launch into one of those three options if it's still needed.

EDIT: Oh, right, as Odds said Dashattacking through it is also often an amazing choice versus almost all projectiles. I somehow forgot about that since it's fairly natural now.
 
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Frost | Odds

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Watch for razor leaf, dash attack through it if the ivy's spacing is less than impeccable. Never shield razor leaf - either clank it, DA through it, jump over (rarely) or run away.
 

Jacob29

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most Ivy's are frauds at spacing razor leaf and will let themselves get dash attacked for free.
 

GeZ

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most Ivy's are frauds at spacing razor leaf and will let themselves get dash attacked for free.
The guy I train with used to train with Strong Bad and played Melee religiously. He's rusty so I can keep up currently, but his tech is usually really on point ;~;
 

Sneez

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posting a discussion that started in the video thread, transferring here. i'm semi new at bowser and was asking odds about the marth mu, where he said that it's good for bowser at all levels except the highest levels of play, where marth gets the advantage. i replied:

"i see, though i feel like there aren't any bowsers that are on the same level as top melee marths. do you think as time goes on and top bowsers get better it might get better for bowser in the mu at top levels? or is it that his skill ceiling might just not be as high as marths?" what do people think about this?
 

Frost | Odds

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There's plenty of room for advancement on both sides of the MU. I wish I had more practice to get a better feel for it, but Quaff refuses to play PM for any reason other than money, these days. The most recent footage I have of this matchup is here. Start on the 4th video because I was playing like garbage before that rofl
 

CELTiiC

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Considering starting to play Project M and picking up Bowser. Advice?
The best advice I can give you is don't get grabbed. Also play patient and crouch heavy in neutral, learn how to flame cancel, fall to the ledge after using Up B on stage, JC down b and abuse the hell out of his command grab and up b OOS.
 
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Malkasaur

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The best advice I can give you is don't get grabbed. Also play patient and crouch heavy in neutral, learn how to flame cancel, fall to the ledge after using Up B on stage, JC down b and abuse the hell out of his command grab and up b OOS.
Seems pretty simple. How do you flame cancel?
 

CELTiiC

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Seems pretty simple. How do you flame cancel?
You jump and right before you hit the stage press B. This will cancel all the start up to the move and allow the flame to come out immediately.
 
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Malkasaur

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You jump and right before you hit the stage press B. This will cancel all the start up to the move and allow the flame to come out immediately.
Could I get a gif comparing Flame Cancel vs Non Flame Cancel side to side?
 

CELTiiC

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Could I get a gif comparing Flame Cancel vs Non Flame Cancel side to side?
When you normally just use flame breath Bowser's head will bob back, but if you flame cancel it his head won't bob back. The landing will cancel all the start up lag and make the flame come out immediately.
 

Kerfuffle

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Marth is a pain. I can usually space him out fairly well, but once a Marth starts playing patiently and dash-dancing well, I fall apart. How do y'all deal with Marth? Especially very patient, very lame Marths.
 

Pluttergub

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Depending on their dash dance spacing, flame cancelling can often catch any grounded approaches Marth makes. I'll often act like a scrubby Bowser and do doublejump baits in neutral to make Marth think I'll land with a Fair or something. Instead, I'll land with a flame cancel if he starts running towards me to punish. Obviously, this will only work a few times against good players. To avoid this, Marths will usually do one of two things: start catching your descent with an aerial or an Utilt, or dash farther away to avoid the flames altogether. Falling with Nair trades with any hitbox that Marth can put out and will often put us at a frame or positional advantage. If Marth dashes away, you can just do an empty land and take the stage control he gave up. Either way, we win the exchange if we react correctly. However, good Marths will also bait us into falling with a Nair by running up and shielding under us instead of throwing out a move. This becomes somewhat of a 50/50 between Bowser using Nair to beat the sword and using flame cancel to beat the shield. I'd argue that we often have enough time to react correctly to the option Marth chooses, so exchanges like this should usually end in Bowser's favor. This somewhat scrubby option in neutral does rely on Marth actually approaching, so it will only work if you're ahead by percent or stocks.

If you're behind or you don't like leaving the ground, there are more approach options Bowser has against a patient Marth. Crouching and/or crawling in neutral, especially at low percents, is fairly safe against Marth since his hitboxes are generally not strong enough to break the armor. The only exceptions may be his Dair and tipper Fsmash, the former of which most likely actually puts Bowser at a frame advantage due to the long endlag. Marth should only get away with throwing out Fsmashes in neutral once or twice; they should be avoided, shielded, or dash attacked if he does them too often. If Marth does hit you while you're crouching/crawling with sufficient armor, dash attack is usually the best punish. Once Marth is in the air, wait out his doublejump and his sideB stall, then juggle him relentlessly with Fairs or Nairs until he's offstage. All of this was assuming Marth approaches with a hitbox instead of a grab, which is unlikely in this matchup.

If Marth primarily approaches with grabs, as he should, Jab1 is Bowser's best move to keep him out. Jab1 is our safest move in neutral, and we should abuse it. It outranges Marth's grab, comes out on Frame 5, and has about 13 frames of endlag. It can also link into more Jab1's by crouching to cancel the window for Jab2, then attacking again. The best way to do this is with C-Stick Attack. Marth, even with his incredible dash dance and grab range, has a difficult time punishing Bowser's Jab1 in neutral. If Marth still refuses to approach, our general tactic is to slowly and safely take stage control until Marth is forced to react. This is best done by crawling since we have armor while advancing, and we can also use Jab1 immediately from crouch (using C-Stick Attack). Marth will be forced to approach as we take more and more stage control, and we can react to all of his options as described above, assuming you maintain proper spacing. Try to determine when your opponent begins to feel uncomfortable with the amount of space he has to dash dance, then prepare to react to or read his approach. If you react correctly, you should be set up for a combo or string that either racks up percent or sends him offstage.

I hope this was helpful as a somewhat in-depth analysis of our options in neutral against Marth. You can and should use a combination of the options I've described in each paragraph depending on what your opponent is doing. This analysis also applies to similar, dash-dance heavy matchups (e.g. Roy). Perhaps the most important skill or gameplay style we should learn from and apply to this matchup is patience. Bowser has no need to approach in the conventional way (aerials, dash-dancing) since we thrive off of trades and correctly reacting to the approach option our opponent chooses. All in all, we should not use any moves (except Jab1, sparingly) until our opponent uses one, especially against Marth.
 
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Pluttergub

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I'm not expecting much. In fact, I'd be completely fine if there were no changes to Bowser in 3.6 other than ledgegrab bug fixes.
 

Pluttergub

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By ledge-grab bugs, do you mean when you just randomly fall off immediately as you grab it, or just flat out miss?
The former. Also, I would like if they made ledgejump wavelanding straight down consistent across all stages and ledges. For instance, the right side of GHZ will kill you but the left side won't.
 

Osmosis124

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How much landing lag do bowser go through after aerial Up B that hasn't slid on the ground? I usually just mash up B later words but I want to know my options out of it.

Also what's everyone preferred Bowser color, I love me some Black and Gold and I don't want to be stealing anyone's color. Unless you want to ditto over it of course.
 

Zach777

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So I have been playing against a really strong Captain Falcon at my weeklies lately and have been struggling mu wise.. Been getting hit by well spaced sh nair approaches and keeping Captain from grabbing me is a real challenge. Would f-tilt be a good anti-nair option? I have tried sh nairing/fairing but CF would hit me before they came out.
Bowser vs. Captain Falcon is a neat fast paced mu but I can't help but feel like it is CF's favor. Should I get over the terrible slow pace of the M2 vs. CF and just play as M2 anyway?

I know about flame canceling but I am sure I am not using it like I should. Any tips for flame cancelling against CF or is it just the typical strategy?

Thanks to anyone who replies.
 
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Osmosis124

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Do not Flame Cancel vs Falcon in any situation maybe unless you read a roll towards or something. Falcon can just sh nair you in the face.

F tilt I feel is bad since it comes out too slow and can be punished with a grab with falcon is dash dance camping.

I hate dealing with Falcon's grab because my main way of stopping grab is by jabbing but nair beats that option clean.

The only answer I find against a well spaced sh nair is Up B. Problem for me is I don't have the reactions to just Up B nair like that. U tilt is decent if you can read when falcon jumps in but is easily punished if baited out.

I kinda want to see if against sh nair if Side B ing the opposite direction works. I find falcon often ending up behind bowser after Side B towards him so I wonder if that's an option.

no idea bout the m2 CF matchup.
 

Frost | Odds

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Flowchart for flame canceling

Is opponent jumpy?
No -> Flame Cancel
Yes -> Don't flame cancel ffs

protip: Falcons are all jumpy.
 
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Zigludo

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reasons I think the Wario mu is awful

-bite exists, you can't even di out of the followups at low% AFAIK because of how fat Bowser is and the length of his neutral landing animation

-Wario can very easily cover 3/4 tech options with sideB thanks to how humongous Bowser's fat ass is

-if you are offstage, prepare your anus for dair which is an instant KO vs Bowser's terrible meteor cancel

EDIT: but then again I'm noob, lol, maybe there is something that we can abuse vs Wario that I'm just not taking advantage of.
 
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Frost | Odds

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Nope, the wario matchup is pretty much absolutely terrible, and you nailed most of the main reasons. Bowser can kinda space him out with fair in 3.5, but you'd better not misspace even once.
 
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Zach777

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Does anyone else here think they should speed up tech rolls considerably? I mean Bowser is already easy combo food does he also need to be easily tech chased? Also, should Bowser's f-tilt come out faster in 3.6? Did the 3.6 video show a Bowser with heavily buffed tipper fair knockback or was I just seeing things?
 

meebius

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Does anyone know of a method to constantly gimp a low recovering Snake. I know Bair works off stage but I want to recover after.
Bowser can't go offstage and do an aerial, because his recovery doesn't have any vertical distance
For low recoveries, just grabbing ledge might work?

If Snake goes above you, an easy punish is to just ledge attack or tourney winner into any aerial would also work or waveland d-smash
 
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Osmosis124

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Bowser can't go offstage and do an aerial, because his recovery doesn't have any vertical distance
For low recoveries, just grabbing ledge might work?
Grabbing ledge is hard because when I try to wave land to ledge Bowser's lower half will probably get hit by Up B.
and I think fortress hogging might hit snake if you are trying to ledgehog him. Although I do find it is the most constant option since when it works Snake has to blow him self up and you can just fair or uair him after.

I'm still trying find more ways of edge guarding snake.
 

meebius

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I'm still trying find more ways of edge guarding snake.
I don't have any knowledge on the snake matchup because there aren't any in my area, but I can think of a few possible edgeguards
- angled down f-tilt towards ledge
- bowser bomb right before snake grabs ledge (really risky since you can lose your stock at 0)
- dair might catch snake through the stage
- lol, if you want to style, koopa klaw throw him into the stage
- angled flame breath towards the ledge
 
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